Hillary Clinton to Be Barnard Commencement Speaker

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Seems that Hillary Clinton can’t get enough of Barnard: Barnard President Debora Spar just announced via email that the new Secretary of State (and former Senator, presidential candidate, and first lady) has agreed to give the commencement address at Barnard this spring.

Clinton will also receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction – past recipients include Toni Morrison, Mario Cuomo, Madeline Albright, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Now it’s your move, CC, GS, and SEAS. Full email after the jump (photo via Flickr).

Dear Seniors,

It is my great pleasure to join Barnard Board Chair Anna Quindlen in

announcing that Hillary Rodham Clinton has accepted our invitation to be

this year’s Commencement speaker and to receive the Barnard Medal of


As you all know, Hillary Clinton is now serving as the 67th United States

Secretary of State, after having served two terms as Senator from the

State of New York and having run an extraordinary and history-making

campaign for President. She won more primaries and delegates than any

other female candidate in American history and changed the political

landscape for generations of women yet to come.

This past September, we were honored to welcome then-Senator Clinton to

Barnard to address the persistence of a wage gap between women and men in

New York and around the country. It will be a tremendous honor and a true

thrill to welcome her back to campus for Commencement 2009 this May.

Debora Spar

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  1. breaking news!  

    Joe the Plumber has agreed to be CC's class day speaker.

  2. more breaking news!

    Joe Six-Pack has agreed to help clean up after class day.

  3. CCer

    I think the only way for CC to top that is with Barack

  4. cupcake  


  5. CCer  

    Needs Obama. We'll probably end up with Vikram "let's-use-tax-payer-money-to-buy-a-corporate-jet" Pandit. Should have voted LEMON and not Johnson

  6. cc'09  

    I think this is really cool. I can't wait to see what our people get for us in the end. From what I know they put a lot of work in to it, and they had that thing were we could vote.

  7. cmon  

    TO cut off the potential flood of angry comments expected by #7, et. al.

    1) Commencement speakers shouldn't be a dick measuring contest. Seriously. Why are you all so insecure?

    2) People, start thinking outside the box. Big name speakers tend to suck. Might I reccommend for class of 2010: 1) RObert Siegel CC '68, host of All Things Considered on NPR, and the head of WKCR news during the 68 building occupations. read a bit about him here: http://www.college.columbia.edu/cct/may_jun08/features1

    2) Rob Maschio aka The Todd: http://www.robertmaschio.com/

    Have some fun and stop worrying about whose speaker is more famous.

  8. sour grapes - SEAS '09  

    Screw all of you CC and Barnard people. As a graduating member of SEAS I only can look forward to some Goldman Sachs VP or a Systems Engineer at NASA. And I don't even think we have alumni go work for places like NASA.

  9. CC '09  

    If you paid any attention you would know that CCSC asked you to vote on your class day speaker so if it's an idiot, it's on you.

  10. 119 Years Strong  

    119 Years Beautiful...

    don't be jealous y'all, it's our chance to shine. we have unlimited tickets so you can come watch!

    ps - soon Barnard will take over the world. mwahahahaha

    • well  

      That's great 13. Too bad no one will know it's Barnard taking over the world since many of your classmates insist on calling themselves Columbia alumni...

      • ....  

        barnard women ARE columbia university alumni. we get two degrees. not to mention that columbia often insists on taking credit for successful barnard graduates.

        • Alum

          Actually, you don't. You get one degree, and it's from Columbia. It's signed by the presidents of both institutions, but Barnard's president signs in her capacity as dean within the university.

          This has no bearing on which school you might prefer to claim as your alma mater. I just want to correct a rather significant misunderstanding on your part.

  11. Wait,  

    Another consolation prize for Clinton?

  12. Wow  

    Lucky Barnard girls!

    Also, Westside isn't accepting Flex between 4pm and 9pm. Not so lucky.

  13. Hmm  

    That's awesome. I might have to invite myself to Barnard commencement.

  14. Faaabulous!  

    I'm sooo excited!

  15. Really?

    I would have preferred Joan Rivers or someone of the like. Hillary Clinton makes me sick. And I thought I was the one burning bridges at this school, but it's Barnard who be burnin' mine!

  16. Truth  

    Eric Holder or Obama would be the only comparable picks for Columbia, in essence. Albright went to Columbia, so maybe she would as well.

  17. Hillary Clinton  

    is a noob. And am I the only one who kind of thinks it's ironic that Barnard tries to be this progressive, female-lib leading school, and yet insists on describing their women as "beautiful" and "strong" ?

  18. Alum

    Get a grip, people. Barnard's class day is different from Columbia College's in one key respect: it's Barnard's highest-level ceremony, whereas the individual class days at CU are all secondary to the main commencement.

    Granted, the main commencement is for Barnard and Columbia grads alike. The difference is that Columbia has a better commencement forum than class day to offer a potential speaker but Barnard doesn't.

    CC students who want Obama to speak at class day are not being realistic. He might come if he's invited to speak at the university's main ceremony, but it's not appropriate to even ask him to be one of 16 class day speakers.

    • barnard  

      Barnard doesn't solely identify as just another school within Columbia University. I would say most Barnard students will not think of our commencement day as just one of sixteen class days, leading up to the main event of CU-wide commencement. Personally, I'm not even planning on sticking around for the CU event.

    • non-Alum, non-Clintonite

      Well, McCain came. No, he wasn't the President, but he was certainly a figure of high national stature-- far more then, in fact, than now. And Alexandr Solzenitzen delivered one of the most famous speeches of his life at a Class Day for Harvard College. I don't think it would at all be inappropriate.

      • Alum

        My argument applies only to the President of the United States and, perhaps, to a handful of other people of comparable stature. Even the most respected senators and authors aren't in that category.

  19. I  

    It's like all the girls at Barnard came together and transformed into a giant robo-Barnard girl, then collectively bitch slapped our smug, Barnard-hating, CC faces. Daaaaaaamn, girl!

  20. non-Clintonite

    So this is what, the 10,000th school at which she has given a commencement address? Come on. She'll give a commencement address for the University of Phoenix online if asked.

  21. non-Alum

    I disagree with you. I don't mean to diminish President Obama, but title isn't everything, and does not command a supremacy of stature in itself. Courage holds a higher place, at least in my opinion and I would hope in the opinions of others as well. I hardly think, incidentally, that you would put President Bush on a pedestal above everyone else on account of the fact that he held the same office. Anyway, no one is contesting the fact that the office of the Presidency carries with it a very high prestige. That said, presidents of the United States have routinely delivered commencement addresses to colleges across the United States in the past, including colleges of significantly lesser renown, and the Class Day held by Columbia College is the equivalent of a commencement ceremony at those other undergraduate institutions.

  22. ...  

    since when are we discrediting the secretary of state and as someone not of "comparable stature"

  23. random  

    Monica Lewinksy should CC's class speaker! Royal Rumble!

  24. random  

    add a "be" somewhere in there

  25. just a thought

    ironic that Barnard needed to invite a Wellesley alumna to talk, eh?

  26. hey hey

    can 09 take eric holder and save obama for the big show in 2010?

  27. when  

    is barnard's class day?

  28. Wang

    Speaking of Hillary Clinton:

    There is bad news about her husband.

    It is opined that Bill Clinton committed racist hate crimes, and I am not free to say anything further about it.

    Respectfully Submitted by Andrew Y. Wang, J.D. Candidate
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    (I can type 90 words per minute, and there are probably thousands of copies on the Internet indicating the content of this post.)
    “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Off the top of my head—it came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

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