Great NE Lecture Series (aka Spring Commencement Season) Hits Homestretch

We began covering Spring 2012 commencements back in December 2011, when Northeastern University announced (via Twitter no less) that former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell would keynote Northeastern’s 110th commencement on May 4. … From there, we reported on Gov. Malloy, Sen. Kerry, Victoria Reggie Kennedy Among Newly Announced NE Commencement Speakers (before, that is, the Catholic college withdrew its invite to Ted Kennedy’s widow under pressure from the Worcester bishop) … followed by Happens Every Spring announcing speakers ranging from Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar … then, A Few More Commencements including UConn President Susan Herbst and the first female commander of a NASA space shuttle.

Now, May brings a few more announcements (including the redemption of Victoria Reggie Kennedy) …

Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair, a University of Maine at Farmington professor emeritus and writer in residence, will deliver the commencement address at UMF on Saturday, May 12 at 10:30 a.m. behind the UMF Olsen Student Center.

TIAA-CREF President and CEO Roger W. Ferguson Jr. will keynote Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s 144th commencement on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. on the Quadrangle.

Meet the Press moderator David Gregory will deliver the undergraduate address at Emerson College’s 132nd commencement ceremonies on Monday, May 14 at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre. Distinguished author, playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner will deliver the graduate address.

Tom Freston, former CEO of Viacom and of MTV Networks, will keynote the 105th commencement exercises of Saint Michael’s College on Monday, May 14 at 10 a.m. in the Ross Sports Center.

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, will address graduating seniors at Bryant University’s undergraduate commencement on Saturday, May 19 at 10 a.m. on the university campus.

Fairfield University’s 62nd commencement will take place on Sunday, May 20 on Bellarmine Lawn. A ceremony for undergraduates at 9:30 a.m. will feature an address by former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Joseph P. Russoniello. A ceremony for graduate students at 3 p.m. will featuring Bob and Suzanne Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks and champions of a greater worldwide understanding autism’s causes.

Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), will deliver the commencement address at Clark University on Sunday, May 20 at 1:30 p.m. on the Jefferson Academic Center Green.

Molecular biologist Bonnie L. Bassler, actor Robert De Niro and PBS journalist Gwen Ifill will speak at Bates College’s 146th commencement on Sunday, May 27 at 10 a.m. on the college’s Historic Quad.

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, attorney, advocate and the wife of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, will keynote Berkshire Community College’s 52nd commencement exercises, beginning Friday, June 1 at 4:30 p.m. at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass.

Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America, the nonprofit organization that enlists top college graduates to teach in under-resourced urban and public schools, will keynote Dartmouth College’s 2012 commencement on Sunday, June 10 at 10 a.m.on the Green.


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