The 66th Annual Casper College Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 11 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Casper Events Center.

Commencement speaker will be Matteo Pistono a writer, photographer, social justice campaigner, and author of “In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet.”

Born in Cody, Wyo. and raised in Lander, Wyo., Pistono earned an associate degree at Casper College, where he was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa. He received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology/political science from the University of Wyoming, and in 1997 obtained his master’s degree in Indian philosophy from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

After working with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. on Tibetan cultural programs, Pistono lived and traveled throughout the Himalayas for a decade, clandestinely smuggling to the West graphic accounts and photos of China’s human rights abuses in Tibet. He is the founder and director of Nekorpa, a nonprofit working to protect sacred pilgrimage sites around the world, and he sits on the Executive Council of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Rigpa Fellowship, and the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture.

This year’s graduates, who include 16 international students, come from 21 states and 10 foreign countries, with all 23 Wyoming counties represented. Of that number, 416 graduates are from Natrona County. A total of 679 students graduated during the 2011-2012 academic year, earning a total of 675 degrees and 175 certificates.

The commencement ceremonies are free and open to the public.