Skip Navigation

News and Events

featured events

Graduate School of Education and Psychology Presents 2014 Commencement

For more information, visit the Graduate School of Education and Psychology commencement website.

The Graduate School of Education and Psychology will host its 2014 commencement ceremony Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m. (education) and 2:30 p.m. (psychology) at Alumni Park, Malibu. Constance L. Rice, founding codirector of the Advancement Project, a nonprofit civil-rights and social justice organization, will address the education graduates and receive an Honorary Degree. Shirley Kinsey (MA '76), cofounder of the Kinsey Collection and the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for the Arts, will be honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. At the ceremony celebrating psychology graduates, Everett Worthington, Jr., professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, author of over 30 books, and former executive director of A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, will address the graduates and receive an Honorary Degree. Gail M. Wilburn, the executive director of the Southern California Counseling Center (SCCC), located in Los Angeles, will be honored as a Distinguished Alumnus (MFT '05).

Constance L. Rice

Constance L. Rice is an attorney and a cofounder of the Advancement Project, a next-generation, multiracial civil rights organization that fosters upward mobility in communities impacted by economic and racial injustice. As a civil rights lawyer who engineers systemic fixes to entrenched inequality and injustice, Rice has been designated one of the "top 10 most influential attorneys in California" by the California Business Journal.

Utilizing litigation, campaigns, and inside bureaucratic maneuvering, Rice has won more than $30 billion in damages, bonds, and policy changes. Her client list includes bus riders, death-row inmates, victims of policy abuse, school children, police officers, whistleblowers, and those who suffer from every sort of discrimination, such as sex, race, disability, and age.

Even while in New York University School of Law attending on a Root Tilden Scholarship, Rice worked extensively on capital punishment cases at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. After graduating Rice clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She subsequently joined the San Francisco law firm of Morrison & Foerster and eventually rejoined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as western regional counsel, winning several landmark cases and establishing herself as "the voice of Los Angeles' oppressed."

Rice serves on the board of local public radio station KPCC in Pasadena, California. She has served as a special guest lecturer in the classroom of Pepperdine School of Public Policy adjunct faculty Joel Fox.

Rice received her bachelor of arts from Harvard-Radcliffe colleges in 1978. She received her law degree from New York University School of Law in 1984.

Shirley Kinsey

Shirley Kinsey (MA '76) is a philanthropist, fundraiser, cofounder of the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for the Arts and Education, and owner-curator of the renowed Kinsey Collection. The Kinsey Collection, assembled by Kinsey and her husband Bernard, comprises art, books, and manuscripts that document and tell the remarkable story of African American triumphs and struggles from 1604 to the present. The touring exhibition of the Kinsey Collection, "Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect," has been on national tour since 2006 and exhibited in 14 museums to date, including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Epcot at Walt Disney World. The coffee table book for the exhibitions has been adopted by the Florida Department of Education as part of their African American history collection for grades K-12 statewide.

Having enjoyed productive careers in education and in corporate America, Kinsey has worked with her husband throughout their careers to raise over $22 million for various charitable and educational institutions, including Florida A&M University, where they both went to school and met. The guiding principles around which they have striven to lead their lives are: "to whom much is given, much is required"; and "to live a life with no regrets"; and to cultivate social capital—their extensive network of friends and associates—to develop and expand the notion of giving nationwide.

Kinsey earned her bachelor's degree from Florida A&M University and her master of arts in multicultural education from the Pepperdine School of Education in 1976.

Gail M. Wilburn

Gail M. Wilburn (MFT '05) is the executive director of the Southern California Counseling Center (SCCC) located in Los Angeles. Founded in 1996, SCCC provides mental-health care for underserved populations, based on system of care provided by volunteerism, paraprofessionals, and supervised lay trainees, bringing affordable counseling to the general public. Wilburn has held the executive directorship since 2008, having served previously as a practicum and marriage and family therapist (MFT) intern. Wilburn also served as an MFT intern to the Jewish Family Service in Santa Monica, California. She has been a volunteer court-appointed special advocate at the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

Prior to her work in the counseling field, Wilburn has held other professional appointments, as assistant to the president and office director at Empower America, in Washington, D.C., and a director of the Community Service Sentencing Project for the City of Rochester, New York.

Wilburn is an active member of the Friends of the Family League, which supports the Center for the Family at Pepperdine University. She has also served as a board member of the Hospice of North Virginia.

Wilburn received her bachelor of arts in sociology from Stetson University in Deland, Florida. She holds a certificate from the Consumer Affairs Institute at Florida Atlantic University in Miami, Florida, and she earned her master of arts in clinical psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2005.

Everett Worthington, Jr.

Everett L. Worthington, Jr., is a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Worthington is one of the foremost scholars of our time on the subject of forgiveness, having written or edited 34 books, and having published well over 350 refereed papers and scholarly chapters. His recent books include Moving Forward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past and A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing Injustice. He also served as the executive director of A Campaign for Forgiveness Research 1998-2005.

Worthington has been teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia's largest state university, since receiving his PhD in 1978. In addition to his role as a professor, he served as the director of counseling training 1997-1999 and as department chair 1999-2005.

He has been served as the president of American Psychological Association (APA) Division 36 (Psychology of Religion), was the founding editor of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal, and currently serves on six editorial boards.

Of his many awards and recognitions, Worthington has been twice named an APA Fellow, as well as he receiving the Virginia Commonwealth University Award for Excellence and the Narramore Award for Integration of Psychology and Christianity from the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. In 2013 he was honored by the as one of the Top Psychology Professors in Virginia.

Worthington received his bachelor's degree from the University of Knoxville and his master of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in nuclear engineering. He received his master of arts and PhD, both in psychology (counseling) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Boundless Horizons
Giving Back