June 7, 2000 Geneva, NY — Hobart and William Smith Colleges will hold Commencement exercises for the Classes of 2000 at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, on the Hobart Quadrangle. Richard C. Holbrooke, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree from the Colleges. An honorary degree will also be given to Hobart and William Smith Trustee Judith Haslam Cross.
Commencement 2000 marks the 175th Commencement for Hobart College and the 89th Commencement for William Smith College. Approximately 400 will graduate from the two colleges. The graduates will be ushered to the Quad by the Mohawk Valley Frasers, a bagpipe ensemble. Seniors from each college were selected by their peers, in association with the dean's offices, to address their classmates. The Hobart College senior speaker will be Michael Harms, from Scotia, N.Y. Ekaterina Papaioannou, Astoria, N.Y., and Erin Zipfel, Ithaca, N.Y., will jointly deliver the William Smith address.
Ambassador Holbrooke was selected as Commencement speaker and as the Doctor of Humane Letters degree recipient in recognition of his many years advancing the causes of international peace and cooperation. His career evidences two values that the Colleges both foster and applaud: public service and internationalism. During his career, Holbrooke has been a professional diplomat, a magazine editor, an author, a Peace Corps country director, the chairman of two important non-government organizations, and an investment banker.
He began his career as a Foreign Service Officer immediately after graduation from Brown University in 1962. For the next seven years he held various positions that dealt with Vietnam, both in that country and in Washington, culminating with his participation as a member of the American delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam. Following those assignments, Holbrooke spent a year as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
He later served as Peace Corps Director in Morocco and as managing editor of the quarterly magazine Foreign Policy.
Holbrooke is the only person to have held the position of Assistant Secretary of State of two different regional bureaus in the State Department, one in East Asian and Pacific Affairs (during which time full diplomatic relations were established with China) and more recently for European and Canadian Affairs.
He is the author of To End a War (1998) and co-author of Counsel to the President (1991), as well as numerous articles on foreign policy.
“Ambassador Holbrooke's commitment to service and extensive background in international affairs make him an appropriate speaker for our graduates and their families,” said HWS president Mark Gearan. “His keen intellect has been evident in his leadership as the chief negotiator for the historic Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia and in his ongoing work with the United Nations.”
Holbrooke is also the father of Hobart graduate David Holbrooke '87.
Judith Haslam Cross will also receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Cross graduated from William Smith in 1952 with a degree in English, and for the past 40 years has exhibited a limitless commitment to Hobart and William Smith. The chief example: membership in the Board of Trustees from 1984 until 1992, including service as Board vice-chair. At various junctures, she served on the admissions, development, library, and honors committees, and on the Executive Council.
he continues to serve as an honorary trustee. Cross was a regional chair for the mid-1980s fund-raising campaign, and then national co-chair for the recently completed Campaign for Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She was a driving force for the creation of Alumna Achievement Award, chairing the committee that led to its establishment in 1998.
Cross is also a parent of a HWS graduate. Her daughter Alexandra was a member of the William Smith Class of 1985.
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