Ideas solicited, again, for May 2011 grad speaker

Susan Campbell, the Dean of Planning and Assessment, sent an email to the senior class (Class of ’11) on Wednesday asking for nominations for May of 2011 Commencement ceremony speakers and Honorary Degree recipients:

Our goal is to honor people who are distinguished beyond mere celebrity, and whose presence at our Commencement would enable us to recognize excellence in a wide range of human endeavors. Many honorary degree recipients have a connection with Middlebury, as alumni, parents, or friends of the College, or as residents of Vermont.

“But school hasn’t even started…,” you say. True. But, the Board of Trustees committee charged with the duty is compiling the list to submit to President Liebowitz, who makes the final decision, now. So get thinking – nominations are due September 17.

Graphic from The Daily Beast

Who do you think would be great to invite? Movie star? Politician? Or someone with a great, perhaps little-known story? One list of 2010’s coolest grad speakers contains (once?) big names like Lisa Kudrow and Alec Baldwin. A list of 30 of the all-time best from The Daily Beast includes a selection of more distinguished speakers. (President Obama made both lists.)

In May, authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn spoke at Middlebury’s Class of 2010 graduation, which elicited mixed reactions, as The Campus reported. The most notable guest of recent memory was Bill Clinton in 2007.

Though, apart from this little detail, fellow seniors, don’t think about May 22 too hard: it’s still a whole year away…


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