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College Commencement

Commencement Speakers

The Office of the Dean of the College, in consultation with representatives of the senior class, select potential speakers a year in advance, rank them, and then extend invitations in a timely manner.  When a decision is reached and a speaker secured, the President makes an announcement to the community in the spring.

Recent commencement speakers:

2014 - Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President,
Children’s Defense Fund
.  Copy of Dr. Edelman’s Commencement address is available here.

2013 - Retired Lt. General and Canadian Senator Romeo Dallaire

2012- Dr. Martin Seligman, noted psychologist

2011: Timoth Egan, New York Times correspondent and author.

2010: Mark Plotkin, Amazon Conversation Team

2009: Ray Suarez, author, journalist

2008: Greg Mortenson, author, Three Cups of Tea

2007: Vivian Gusin Paley, noted child psychologist, University of Chicago

2006: Charles Johnson, S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professor for Excellence in English, University of Washington.

2005: Josef Joffe, Publisher of Die Zeit

2004: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institutes of Health

2003: Ted Kulongoski, Governor, State of Oregon

2002: Ambassador Christopher Ross, Special Coordinator for Public Diplomacy and Deputy to the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State

2001: Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Poland

2000: Dr. Ben O. Canada, Superintendent, Portland Public Schools

1999: Heidi Heitkamp, Attorney General, North Dakota,JD, Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College ’80

1998: Brian Lamb, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN)

1997: Jack Ward Thomas, Chief, U.S. Forest Service (retired)