Graduating seniors at Hobart and William Smith will hear from a senior national news analyst and a world renowned singer/activist as they commence on May 12.
April 12, 2002 Geneva, N.Y. — Nationally known columnist and commentator Mark Shields, one of Washington's most respected journalists who is seen every Saturday night as the moderator of CNN's “The Capital Gang,” will deliver the Commencement address to the 2002 graduating classes at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Commencement exercises begin at 10:30 a.m. on May 12, on the Hobart Quadrangle. Commencement 2002 marks the 177th Commencement for Hobart College and the 91st Commencement for William Smith College. One hundred sixty seven men will receive degrees from Hobart, and 256 women will receive degrees from William Smith.
Shields is a columnist and commentator with unmatched credentials as an analyst of the U.S. political system. Called the “wittiest political journalist in America” by The Wall Street Journal and a “walking almanac of American politics” by The Washington Post, Shields' wit is grounded in 30 years spent covering American politics–from the courthouse to the White House. His career spans eight presidents, and his column has run in The Washington Post since 1979.
A regular political analyst on PBS' The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, Shields is also the author of On the Campaign Trail, a narrative of the 1984 presidential campaign that has been praised as “irreverent” and “insightful” and for bringing that race “to magnificent light.”
Before entering journalism, Shields helped manage political campaigns in 38 states. He served on Capitol Hill as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin and worked on presidential primary bids with Senator Robert Kennedy. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he served in the United States Marine Corps and has taught American politics and the press at Harvard University and at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1964.
A senior from each College, selected by their peers and yet unnamed, will also give a brief address to their classmates as they leave their home of the last four years.
Judy Collins, legendary singer and activist for UNICEF and Amnesty International, will deliver the Baccalaureate address at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, in a location TBA.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions, located in Geneva, N.Y.–the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The Colleges, which have a combined enrollment of 1,800, offer a remarkably broad array of majors and minors, with a cross-disciplinary flavor intended to better inform both professional and intellectual pursuits. The Colleges are noted also for an ambitious emphasis on international study and for their programs in community service. Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share faculty, facilities, and curriculum, but maintain separate dean's offices, athletics programs, student governments, and traditions.
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A high-resolution photo of Mark Shields may be downloaded here.