Wednesday, March 14, 2000

Tufts University Commencement May 20
News Icon Jim Lehrer to be Joined by David McCullough and Helen Vendler


MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of the nightly PBS news program The News Hour, will deliver the keynote address during Tufts University's commencement Sunday, May 20.

   "Jim Lehrer has combined a global perspective with a passion for knowledge to build an extremely successful and critically-acclaimed career," says Tufts President John DiBiaggio. "As news anchor, presidential debate moderator, journalist and author, he serves as a voice of truth, fairness and integrity."

   Joining Lehrer in honoring undergraduate and graduate degree recipients will be biographer, historian and documentary narrator David McCullough and Harvard University poetry critic Helen Vendler.

   "A Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, David McCullough is one of the most respected and popular American biographers of all time," notes DiBiaggio, "and Helen Vendler is a literary guide who has been hailed as our nation's finest interpreter of poetry. We are pleased that these three accomplished individuals will join the Tufts community as we celebrate our 145th annual commencement ceremony."

   The ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on the campus green in Medford. Speakers addressing graduates of the university's other schools and campuses include:

  • United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will speak at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

  • Judith Vaitukaitis, Tufts alumna and director of the National Center for Research Resources for the National Institutes of Health, will speak at the Tufts Veterinary School in Grafton, Massachusetts.

  • Boston Globe business columnist David Warsh, who has written on the economics of health care, will speak to Dental School graduates.

  • Daniel Federman, senior dean at Harvard Medical School, will address Tufts Medical School degree recipients.

   More than 2500 graduate and undergraduate students from all of Tufts University's schools and campuses are scheduled to receive their degrees during the day's commencement events.

 Tufts University is recognized among the premier universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative research initiatives and joint degree programs are available for both undergraduate and graduate school students in liberal arts, sciences and engineering, and the university's seven graduate and professional schools.