Prominent figures slated to speak at commencements

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient and the American Civil Liberties Union president will be among several prominent figures speaking at commencement services, University officials announced Thursday.

Chief executive officers, local journalists and one of People Magazine’s 2002 “50 Most Eligible Bachelors in America” will headline commencements between May 7 and June 18.

In many cases, student graduation committees selected candidates and deans’ offices then approved and contacted them.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, 90, will speak May 9 for the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences’ commencement.

Borlaug graduated from the University with a degree in forestry and later received his master’s and doctorate degrees in plant pathology. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his efforts to alleviate world hunger.

“He’s just an amazing person,” said John Byrnes, the department’s program director. “I’ve had the good fortune of meeting him a couple of times.”

ACLU President Nadine Strossen will speak to the University Law School at its graduation ceremony May 15.

“She’s a native Minnesotan who – in addition to having very impressive academic credentials – holds arguably one of the most important public interest law jobs in the country,” said Jason Greenlee, Law School graduation committee member.

Strossen is a Harvard Law School graduate and teaches at the New York Law School.

More commencement information is available online at