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Commencement Speakers Announced: Bates, Benedictine, Berkshire CC, Centre, Dartmouth, Dominican, Gettysburg, Grand Valley, Grinnell, Liberty, Randolph-Macon, SUNY Albany, U. of Mary Washington, West Virginia Wesleyan

April 30, 2012

The following colleges and universities have announced their commencement speakers for spring 2012:

  • Bates College: Bonnie L. Bassler, chair of  Princeton University's Council on Science and Technology; Robert De Niro, the actor; and Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent for "PBS Newshour."
  • Benedictine University, in Illinois: The Rev. R. Daniel Conlon, who was recently appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as bishop of Joliet.
  • Berkshire Community College: Victoria Kennedy, a lawyer and the wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
  • Centre College: Janet H. Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates.
  • Dartmouth College: Wendy Kopp, founder and chief executive officer of Teach for America.
  • Dominican University of California: Ronan Farrow, the diplomat and human rights lawyer.
  • Gettysburg College: Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund
  • Grand Valley State University: James Brooks, vice chair of the Grand Valley Foundation, and Juan Williams, political analyst for Fox Television.
  • Grinnell College: Jamaica Kincaid, the novelist.
  • Liberty University: Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and former governor of Massachusetts.
  • Randolph-Macon College: Yvonne W. Brandon, Richmond Public Schools superintendent.
  • State University of New York at Albany: Judith Sheindlin, the presiding judge on "Judge Judy."
  • University of Mary Washington: Neil Howe, founding partner of LifeCourse Associates, and author of Generations;  and Shawn Boyer,  founder and chief executive officer of Snagajob.com.
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College: Lloyd G. Jackson II, chair of the institution's board, a member of the West Virginia Board of Education and former state senator.

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