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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Brief: Bill Browder Announced as 2024 Commencement Speaker

Brief%3A+Bill+Browder+Announced+as+2024+Commencement+Speaker
Colgate University

Human rights activist, author and financier Bill Browder will deliver the 2024 commencement address, according to an email sent to the Colgate University community on Feb. 26. Browder is the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management and was a major foreign investor in Russia until 2005 when his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, discovered a massive fraud scheme within the Russian government, involving Russian officials taking millions of taxpayer dollars from the treasury. After accusing Russian officials of these crimes, Magnitsky was arrested and kept in inhumane conditions, which ultimately led to his death. 

Browder turned to human rights activism following Magnitsky’s tragic death and currently heads the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign.

“Browder has sought justice outside of Russia and started a global campaign for governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials,” the email read. “The United States was the first to impose these targeted sanctions with the Sergei Magnitsky Accountability Act in 2012, followed by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in 2016.”

Browder continues to be an activist for human rights and is working with various countries to pass legislation to prevent future human rights violations from occurring. In addition to his legislative work, Browder is a New York Times best-selling author of two books: “Red Notice, A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice” and “Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath.” 

In addition to delivering this year’s commencement speech, Browder will also receive an honorary degree alongside Angela Ferguson, Mohsin Hamid, Michael J. Herling ’79, P’08, ’09, ’12 and Tod Machover. 

Ferguson is a member of the Eel Clan, the Supervisor of the Onondaga Nation Farm and one of the original founders of Braiding the Sacred, an organization that brings different Indigenous communities together. As part of the Braiding the Sacred’s mission, Ferguson is currently focusing on rematriation of seeds to their original homelands. 

Hamid is an international bestselling author of five novels: “Exit West,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” “Moth Smoke,” “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” and “The Last White Man.” Hamid has won several book awards and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for two of his novels.

Herling is an active member of the Colgate community as the current chair of the Colgate University’s Board of Trustees and he previously served as the past chair of the Presidents’ Circle Membership Committee and the Alumni Council. In addition to his leadership at Colgate, Herling is a founding partner of the Connecticut-based law firm Finn Dixon & Herling LLP. 

Machover is a celebrated composer who has composed award-winning operas like “VALIS,” “Brain Opera,” “Death and Power” and “Schoenberg in Hollywood.” In addition to composing his next opera, “The Overstory,” Machover is a professor of music and media at the MIT Media Lab and the academic head of the Media Arts & Sciences graduate program.

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About the Contributor
Payton Gore, News Editor
Payton Gore is a senior from Baltimore, MD concentrating in marine freshwater science with a minor in sociology. She has previously served as a staff writer for the News section. On campus, Payton is a Senior Admission Intern in the Office of Admission, a Bystander Intervention Facilitator at Shaw Wellness Center, and is involved in the Club Squash Team.

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