Commencement Speaker Chosen with Student Input



Amanda Golden

It was recently announced that Duncan L. Niederauer from the Colgate class of 1981, chief executive officer of NYSE Euronext, will deliver the keynote address at the 2013 commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19. The selection process for the Commencement Speaker involves a variety of figures within the Colgate community and is an ongoing development throughout the school year.

“I was asked to be a part of the commencement speaker and honorary degree committee because of my role as Senior Class President,” senior Matthew Levitsky said. “On the committee with me were President Herbst, Vice President Tybursky, two active professors, and members of the board of trustees. We met on a monthly basis and discussed possible candidates.”

Levitsky continued to explain how the specific choice in Niederauer came about.

“About midway through the fall semester, I sent an email out to the senior class, asking for nominees for this year’s commencement speaker,” Levitsky said. “My classmates sent me names, and I brought those names to the committee meeting and we went from there. The committee members were well-informed and knew a great deal about each candidate.”

The conscious choice of Niederauer came to be through input from the senior student body.

“We began discussing this year’s alumnus after a student in the senior class nominated him in an email to me,” Levitsky said. “Members of the committee knew a great deal about him and spoke highly of him. They knew that he was a gifted speaker and would deliver a great address to our class if given the opportunity.”

While he is the only student on the selection committee, Levitsky explained that he attends the meetings on behalf of his classmates.

“The input that I received from my classmates came as a result of their emails nominating candidates,” Levitsky said.

When asked who else was being considered this year as a possible speaker, Levitsky declined to comment due to the confidential nature of committee meetings.

“I am excited to hear this year’s speaker because I know that this speaker was suggested by a classmate,” Levitsky said. “Therefore, I feel confident that the speaker was chosen with my classmates’ interests in mind. I hear that he is a very talented speaker, and I am confident that his speech will resonate with those in attendance at this year’s commencement ceremony.”

Student Body President senior Matthew Ford, who had previously met Niederauer, also praised this year’s choice on Commencement Speaker.

“Duncan Niederauer is a brilliant selection for commencement speaker, and the school is honored to have him at the 2013 Commencement,” Ford said. “Despite the time-consuming job of running the New York Stock Exchange, one of the most successful and growing companies in the world, Mr. Niederauer’s involvement in the Colgate community has never faltered. As much as I’m trying to avoid thinking about graduating, I’m looking forward to meeting him again.”

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