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Holy Names University Announces 2022 Commencement Speaker 

OAKLAND, CA (April 28, 2022) – Holy Names University (HNU) announces the Commencement speaker for its 2022 graduation ceremonies, HNU alumna Tiana Davis Kara ’06. Kara is a culture catalyst who advocates for the advancement of systemically excluded people in the workplace. Kara will address graduate students on Friday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m., and will address undergraduates on Saturday, May 14, at 4:30 p.m. 

Kara was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She graduated from HNU in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature. She is currently the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Lead at Nextdoor, strengthening its mission to cultivate a kinder world. A passionate champion for change, Kara has gained leadership experience working for notable non-profit and for-profit brands (Gap, Black Girls CODE, BUILT BY GIRLS, Verizon) leading the charge for representation in the tech industry. She is also a member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there. Chief is the only organization specifically designed for senior women leaders to strengthen their leadership journey, cross-pollinate ideas across industries, and effect change from the top-down. 

Says HNU’s President Mike Groener, “I am grateful we will be able to celebrate our remarkable 2022 graduates in person and can’t wait to welcome their families and friends to campus for the ceremony. This year’s graduates are certain to be inspired by the Commencement speaker – a brilliant leader, compassionate advocate, and dedicated force for good in the world.” 

Joining Kara in addressing HNU graduates are:
Speaker (reflections) for Commencement Mass: Sr. Sophia Park, PhD
Invocation at Graduate Commencement: Jessica Stevenson, MA ‘22
Invocation at Undergraduate Commencement: Joshua Mariano ‘22
Student Speaker for Undergraduate Commencement: Aaliyah Quiñones ‘22 

 2022 Commencement: click for info on in-person ceremonies and livestream links


Holy Names University (HNU) has been empowering and preparing a diverse student body for productive lives of leadership and service since 1868. Rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, the University was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. HNU offers a liberal arts and professional education. Student-centered, with small class sizes and courses in varied formats and schedules, HNU meets the needs of all learners, including first-generation students and working adults. Nestled in the Oakland hills of California, the University’s idyllic, 60-acre campus offers panoramic views of San Francisco Bay. For more information, visit