The Campus announced this morning that New York Times columnist Nick Kristof will deliver a joint commencement address on May 23rd with his spouse Sheryl WuDunn. In 1990, the married couple both won the Pultizer Prize for their coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests. WuDunn, the first Asian American to win a Pulitzer, is now an author and businesswoman. Kristof continues at the NY Times, writing primarily on human rights conditions, development strategies, and global poverty particularly in Asia and Africa. The pair is anticipated to “ask this generation to tackle the issue of gender inequality in all its future endeavors.”
Kristof and WuDunn, quoted in The Campus, had this to say about Middlebury:
Kristoff: “Middlebury has been pretty successful at cultivating an international response ethos where students lean from the world and engage it,” Kristof said. “That’s something I admire and encourage.”
WuDunn: “Students are much more service oriented…They really feel they want to be proactive about [making a difference]. We’re seeing that and we’re extremely excited about it.”
My thought is that this is a good choice for Middlebury. Past graduation speakers have been a bit of a sore spot for graduating seniors (other than the class of 2007 who had Bill Clinton). Kristof is a well-known figure that fits Middlebury’s self-proclaimed international strengths and seniors should be glad to throw around that name when comparing notes with other college seniors nationwide (he’s a big deal, even if your friends have never heard of him). Still, I have a hard time imagining a joint-address, but I’m sure they’ve done it before.
MiddBlog wants to know: What do you think of Kristof and WuDunn? Do the pair match your expectations?