Author Reyna Grande To Be 2024 Commencement Speaker

Reyna Grande smiling
Reyna Grande is a Mexican-American author known for her memoirs and novels. She gained critical acclaim for her memoir "The Distance Between Us," which chronicles her experience of immigrating to the United States from Mexico as a child and the challenges she faced growing up.


SANTA CLARA, CA  – Mission College is thrilled to announce that acclaimed author Reyna Grande will be the keynote speaker at the 2024 Mission College Commencement ceremony, to be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at the San Jose Civic.

Reyna Grande is a distinguished writer known for her poignant memoirs and novels exploring themes of immigration, family, and the pursuit of the American Dream. Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, Grande experienced firsthand the challenges and triumphs of the immigrant experience. At the age of nine, she embarked on her own journey north, eventually settling in the United States.
Despite facing numerous obstacles as an undocumented immigrant, Grande pursued her education with determination and resilience. She attended Pasadena City College before transferring to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she became the first in her family to graduate from university. Grande holds a BA and an MFA in creative writing, leveraging her education to amplify the voices of marginalized communities through her writing.
Reyna Grande smiling
Reyna Grande has garnered a multitude of accolades for her literary accomplishments, such as the American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award.
Grande's bestselling memoirs, including "The Distance Between Us" and "A Dream Called Home," have garnered widespread acclaim for their candid portrayal of her experiences as a Mexican immigrant. In addition to her memoirs, Grande is also the author of several novels, including "Across a Hundred Mountains" and "A Ballad of Love and Glory," as well as the co-editor of the anthology "Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings."

Her literary achievements have earned her numerous accolades, including the American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. She was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards and has received the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature, among others.

Mission's Commencement, themed "Celebrating Excellence & Resilience," will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m. Graduates, along with their families, friends, and loved ones, are invited to attend this occasion at the San Jose Civic, located at 135 W. San Carlos St., San Jose, CA 95113.

For more information about Commencement, visit

Benjamin Demers
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
[email protected] 
About Mission College

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