For the past several years, Knox has had some pretty fabulous commencement speakers, which have left many wondering who the speaker will be this year. In 2007, it was former President Bill Clinton, followed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. All these speakers were announced before the end of March. Yet it is April 1, and the campus at large still is not sure who will receive the Honorary Degree this year.
“[We’re] still working on it,” said President Roger Taylor. “We have an invitation out and we hope to hear soon.”
The Honorary Degree subcommittee made of faculty and trustees has been working since February of 2009 in order to ensure a commencement speaker for this year’s graduating seniors. So far, nobody has been pinned down.
“Nobody’s more anxious [to hear the announcement] than yours truly,” said Taylor.
The Honorary Degree subcommittee goes through several steps every year in order to locate an appropriate speaker. Most often their invitations are met with silence, rejection, or scheduling conflicts.
Every year, the junior class makes suggestions as to who they would like to see speak at their graduation ceremony
The list is compiled and distributed to junior students so they can vote on their favorites
The list is narrowed based upon the votes and redistributed to the juniors to make their final list of ten possible candidates
The Honorary Degree subcommittee works with alumni connections in order to invite candidates who appeared on the list as well as other candidates who match the spirit of Knox College.
When were previous commencement speakers announced?
2007 – Bill Clinton – Announced January, 11
2008 – Madeleine Albright – Announced February, 15
2009 – Patrick Fitzgerald – Announced March, 12