Upwards of 10,000 students from Columbia, Barnard and Teachers College are participating in the 2002 Columbia commencement ceremony on Low Plaza on Wednesday, May 22, while more than 20,000 family and friends look on from the white chair rows of South Lawn.
President George Rupp is officiating his last graduation before stepping down from his position this July. The commencement ceremony is being webcast live.
Former Senator George Mitchell, author Joan Didion and Columbia President-elect Lee Bollinger are among those receiving honorary degrees. Also receiving honorary degrees are Brown University President Ruth Simmons, Latin American literary scholar Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, neuropsychologist Brenda Milner, and Jack Beeson, Columbia's MacDowell Professor Emeritus of Music. Molecular biologist and geneticist George Yancopoulos receives the University Medal for Excellence, which is given each year to a Columbia alumnus who has made significant contributions to society. Click for complete information on honorary degree recipients.
Each school within the University also holds its own graduation ceremony, with most occurring on May 21, 22 and 23. Click for additional information on school ceremonies.
The featured speakers at these ceremonies represent a variety of fields, including politics, business and academia.
David Stern, chair of the Board of Trustees, addressed graduates during Columbia College's class day on Hamilton Lawn on Tuesday, May 21. That afternoon, at class day for the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harley-Davidson CEO Jeffrey Bluestein was the featured speaker.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to graduates during a ceremony for the School of International and Public Affairs Tuesday evening at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Earlier in the day, also at the Cathedral, Coretta Scott King, educator and activist, was one of three speakers for the Teachers College ceremony.
On Wednesday afternoon, Calvin Trillin, author, columnist and humorist, addresses the School of the Arts' graduating class in Miller Theatre, while Paul Steiger, managing editor of the "Wall Street Journal," speaks to students from the Graduate School of Journalism in the Roone Arledge Auditorium in Alfred Lerner Hall.
On Thursday afternoon, May 23, the Law School welcomes Reynold Levy, Law'73, the new president of Lincoln Center, who will speak to graduates in Avery Fisher Hall.