Posts Tagged ‘commencement’

Bloomberg to be 2013 Commencement Speaker!

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Stanford may not be getting its campus in NYC, but we may have just gotten the next best thing: Mayor Michael Bloomberg for our 2013 Commencement Speaker.

For the second year in a row, Stanford’s senior class has pulled in a mayor from the Northeast with a national presence. In Bloomberg’s case, that presence is also global. Bloomberg has been mayor of New York City since 2001, presiding over a city that reeled from the wounds of 9/11, benefitted from a boom in financial services, and then reeled again from a financial crisis that set off the greatest recession in generations. He has been a passionate advocate for action on the defining issues of our day, including gun control, immigration reform, education reform, poverty, public health, and climate change. Furthermore, in an era of heightened partisanship, he has stood out as a cost-cutting moderate with a liberal streak.

Most of our readers likely know that Bloomberg went from a middle-class upbringing to becoming one of America’s richest men, an unabashed hero of capitalism at a time of increasing inequality and decreasing social mobility. However, he is also a noteworthy philanthropist, having pledged to give away his entire fortune to charity. He graduated with a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1964 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966. Over his wide-ranging career, he founded the technology and media company Bloomberg LP, which today has over 310,000 subscribers and 15,000 employees.

Bloomberg’s term in office ends this year. Thus, as this class of seniors leaps into the great abyss of the future, it will get a send-off from a self-made man who is also about to embark on his next great journey. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say, and to end my time at Stanford with a little of my native Northeast!

Mexican President to be 2011 Commencement Speaker

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa will be the keynote speaker at this year's Commencement.

President Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico since 2006, will be this year’s Commencement Speaker. While his name may not be well known to American students, Calderón has been possibly the most influential politician of modern Mexico, leading a courageous but violent fight against the drug cartels that currently plague Mexican society.

According to Stanford President John Hennessy, “Calderón assumed office at one of the most challenging times in the history of his nation, and is a respected foreign leader who has been involved in public service and advocacy for his entire life. He is committed to finding solutions to a number of national and global problems, ranging form combating drug cartels to comprehensive reform and arms control. His views on a life devoted to solving pressing problems and to improving society will be particularly meaningful to our graduates, as will his experience leading a nations so vitally intertwined with the future of California and the United States.”

This year’s Senior Class Presidents said they nominated Calderón as the 2011 Commencement speaker “to send a powerful message” to the country and to the rest of the world about the importance of leadership in international cooperation and social justice. Calderón’s presidency has not been without controversy–15,273 people died in Mexico’s drug wars in 2010 alone–but hopefully his speech will highlight the reasons behind his decision to pursue his goals for a drug-free Mexico in the face of such adversity.