The 175th-Commencement Ceremony (Andrus Field)
Jim Lehrer P'85, anchor of Public Broadcasting Service's
The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, will be the featured speaker at Wesleyan's 175th Commencement ceremony and will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Lehrer has been honored with numerous journalism awards, including a Presidential National Humanities medal in 1999. During the last five presidential elections, he moderated ten of the nationally–televised candidate debates.
Lehrer has written 15 novels—his latest is The Franklin Affair—two memoirs, and three plays. His daughter Lucy Lehrer is a member of Wesleyan's Class of 1985.
The following will receive honorary degrees at Wesleyan's 175th Commencement Ceremonies:
- Nobutaka Machimura, former Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, currently serves as a member of the Japanese House of Representatives representing Hokkaido Fifth District. As foreign minister of Japan from September 2004 to October 2005, his efforts were directed toward signing a treaty with Russia resolving a border dispute and toward investigating the whereabouts of Japanese hostages who had been kidnapped by North Korean agents during the 1970s and 1980s. Educated in economics at the University of Tokyo, he attended Wesleyan for one year as an exchange student. He has been elected to seven terms in the Japanese House of Representatives.
- Alan M. Dachs served 14 years as a member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and eight years as Board chair. In his role as chair of the Board, he led the fundraising for the Wesleyan Campaign, helping the institution to raise a record-breaking $281 million for academic programs and new faculty positions, financial aid, and an ambitious program of campus renewal. Through his close partnership with President Douglas J. Bennet, he helped to guide Wesleyan in its strategic planning and in promoting Wesleyan's reputation for academic excellence. Mr. Dachs is a staunch advocate for the value of liberal arts education and a tireless proponent of Wesleyan. He was elected trustee emeritus and chair emeritus in 2005 upon his retirement from the Board. Mr. Dachs is a member of the boards of directors of the Bechtel Group and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of The Brookings Institution and The Conference Board and on the Corporation Visiting Committee for the Engineering Systems Division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He recently was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Dachs also serves as chair of the University's Development Committee. He is president and chief executive officer of the Fremont Group, a private investment company based in San Francisco. Mr. Dachs and his wife, Laurie, have four children and two grandchildren. Their son, Eric, is a member of Wesleyan's Class of 1998.
- Rosa DeLauro was elected to Congress from Connecticut's Third District in 1990 and is currently serving her ninth term. In addition to her work on the House Appropriations and Budget committees, DeLauro chairs the House Appropriations Subcomittee on Agriculture, and the Labor - Health, Human Services - Education and Commerce - Justice - Science Subcommittees. DeLauro has been a strong proponent for student aid, and opposed cuts in programs that help to increase students' access to college, such as Upward Bound and TRIO. Since she first came to Congress in 1990, DeLauro has put every pay raise she has received toward a scholarship program she founded in memory of her late father. To date, her scholarships have helped 420 students further their educations.
- Jewel Plummer Cobb is renowned as a teacher, a research biologist, and an advocate for the participation of women and members of minority groups in the sciences. She taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Connecticut College before becoming dean of the college at Connecticut, then dean of Douglass College, and finally president of California State University at Fullerton. Currently president and professor of biological science emerita at Fullerton, Dr. Cobb continues to promote science education programs for minority youth and greater representation of women in science. In 1993 the National Science Foundation honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the advancement of women and underrepresented minorities.
- Thomas F. Malone, an environmentalist and expert on sustainability, is University Distinguished Scholar Emeritus at North Carolina State University. He has held a tenured faculty appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been a senior vice president and director of research for the Travelers Insurance Companies, and has been dean of the Graduate School at the University of Connecticut. A past president of Sigma Xi, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society, he also has been foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and a vice president of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Recent publications have included &dlquo;Towards a Knowledge Society in the Americas,” “A New Agenda for Science and Technology for the Twenty-First Century,” “Reflections on the Human Prospect,” “Global Change, Science and the Human Prospect,” and, with Gary Yohe, “Knowledge Partnership for a Sustainable, Equitable, and Stable Society.” Professor Malone has long been active in issues that combine economic development and environmental quality. He has participated in two major environmental conferences at Wesleyan.
The following alumnus will receive the Baldwin Medal during Commencement. The highest alumni honor bestowed by Wesleyan, the Baldwin Medal pays tribute to the late Judge Raymond E. Baldwin of Wesleyan's Class of 1916. Baldwin was the only man to have held the offices of Connecticut governor, U.S. senator, and chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
- Robert G. McKelvey '59, is President and Chairman of George McKelvey Company Inc., an investment advisory firm in Sea Girt, New Jersey. Bob's long history of dedicated service to Wesleyan includes one term as an alumni-elected trustee, two terms as a charter trustee and four years as vice-chairman of the Board. An Emeritus Trustee since 1996, Bob continued to serve on the Portfolio Subcommittee until 2005. He has also served on Wesleyan's Campaign Council, and he is currently a member of the University's Development Committee. Additionally, Bob continues to be an active leader of Alpha Delta Phi, where he has served as a trustee and chairman of the investment committee of the Alpha Delta Phi Foundation, and as president of the board of governors of Alpha Delta Phi International. During decades as an alumni leader, Bob has become a friend and mentor to countless Wesleyan students and alumni.
A live broadcast of the Commencement ceremony will be available in the Memorial Chapel, rain or shine. The ceremony may also be viewed online. Details will be available on this site the week of May 20, 2007. The Commencement ceremony will be followed by a reception with light refreshments on the lawn of North College, celebrating the Class of 2007.