Schwarzenegger headed to St. Mary’s

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to speak June 2 at the commencement ceremony for Moraga-based St. Mary’s College’s School of Extended Education but the school probably isn’t a model the governor will promote.

It’s the school’s last graduation ceremony. The college is shutting it down after suffering a series of financial setbacks brought on by too few students. School leaders voted in 2005 to stop admitting new students to the program after its faculty objected to the subsidies from other programs required to keep it going.

The extended education school was designed to allow working professionals to pursue degrees while keeping their day jobs, a formula that commercial organizations such as the University of Phoenix later marketed to far greater success than St. Mary’s College.

OK, now it all makes sense. Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, is graduating from the School of Extended Education on June 2, hence the reason for her boss’ appearance at its commencement ceremony. One did wonder why the governor would show up to celebrate the graduation of a school on its last leg.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen