Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Marie Therese Porter Royce paid a visit last Friday to her alma mater, Pomona Catholic High School to tour the renovated campus and meet with school officials.
The businesswoman and diplomat also took the opportunity to address students and alumni virtually during her visit.
“I encourage each one of you to come visit this school,” Royce told alumni in a video recorded in the school’s renovated library. “I think you’ll be very impressed.”
In her remarks, Royce noted improvements to the school’s courtyard and its biology and chemistry labs. She also praised the school’s 100% graduation rate and its international exchange program, where the number of international students enrolled has increased significantly in recent years.
Sending students to study abroad, she said, is a way for young people to learn about other cultures and contribute to global peace.
Proud to have a virtual exchange with my alma mater @PomonaCatholic High School during #IEW2019! The high school students studying Government asked great questions about @ECAatState's programs. And there is interest in pursuing a @StevensInit project! pic.twitter.com/0ofvBiKgW3
— ECA Acting Assistant Secretary Lussenhop (@ECA_AS) November 19, 2019
Royce is a San Gabriel Valley native and a product of the area’s local Catholic schools. She attended St. Joseph Elementary School in Pomona before attending Pomona Catholic, where she graduated from in 1979. She later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Human Resources at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a Master’s degree in International Business at Georgetown University.
Most recently, Royce served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) under former President Trump, who appointed her to the post in 2018. She is currently the Managing Director of Global Strategic Initiatives for the Global Government and Public Affairs team of Alcatel-Lucent, a telecommunications equipment supplier with a global presence in 130 countries.
She also consults with other companies on their international affairs through her own company, Marie Royce, LLC.
Royce’s innovative work has earned her several high honors, including the American Council of Young Political Leaders Honors Award. In 2019, King Felipe VI of Spain decorated Royce with the “Order of Civil Merit” for her dedication to building a mutually beneficial relationship with Spain through the ECA. Pomona Catholic has honored their distinguished sister with the Pillar of Scholarship Distinguished Alumna Award.
Pomona Catholic High School junior Amelia Skeers contributed to this report. Skeers is the co-founder and co-president of the Pomona Catholic’s Women Empowerment Club.