Office of Public Programs and Events

Former Presidential Adviser David Gergen to Speak at UNH Commencement

By Michelle Gregoire
UNH News Bureau

DURHAM, N.H. -- Presidential adviser and political commentator David Gergen will deliver the keynote address at the May 20 commencement ceremony at the University of New Hampshire. The ceremony, honoring some 2,400 graduates, will begin at 10 a.m. at Cowell Stadium, rain or shine.

David Gergen

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Gergen will be presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Joining him as distinguished guests will be Dennis Kozlowski, chair and CEO of Tyco International, and Barbara Bonney, one of the world's most accomplished lyric sopranos and a UNH alumna.

Gergen has served in the White House as adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. In the Clinton administration, Gergen served as counselor to the president, and then as special adviser to the president and secretary of state. He returned to private life in January 1995.

He is presently editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report and appears regularly on the PBS program News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Gergen also is a member of the faculty at Harvard University, where he is professor of public service at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to teaching at Harvard, he taught at Duke University.

Gergen's work in journalism, from 1984 to 1993, includes the editorship of U.S. News. Working with the owner and editor-in-chief, Mortimer Zuckerman, Gergen helped guide the magazine to record gains in circulation and advertising. During that period, he also teamed with Mark Shields for political commentary on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.

A native of Durham, N.C., he is an honors graduate of both Yale University (A.B., 1963) and Harvard Law School (L.L.B., 1967), and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He served three and a half years in the U.S. Navy, posted in Japan.

Gergen presently serves on the Yale Corporation and is chair of the national selection committee for the Ford Foundation's Innovations in American Government program. He lectures in the U.S. and abroad and holds five honorary degrees.

Other distinguished guests

  • Dennis Kozlowski has been with Tyco for 24 years, the last seven as chair and CEO. Under his leadership, the company has experienced explosive growth and is now a $27-billion multinational firm producing fire protection and security systems, and medical and electronic products. Kozlowski will receive an honorary doctor of business administration degree at the UNH ceremony. He is a graduate of Seton Hall University, where he is a member of the Board of Regents. At UNH, he is a member of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics Executive Board.

  • Barbara Bonney, widely recognized as the foremost "Lieder" singer of her generation, has performed her signature roles of Mozart and Strauss the world over. She has made more than 70 recordings for major labels, encompassing the genres of Lieder, sacred and choral music, opera and contemporary works. This year's appearances include recitals in London, Munich, Paris and Amsterdam; she also will appear at the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals and at Carnegie Hall. Bonney, who received her master's degree at UNH, will be awarded an honorary doctor of music degree.

    Commencement will also feature the presentation of the annual Granite State Awards, which recognize contributions to the state of New Hampshire and its citizens. The following individuals will be honored:

  • Juliana Eades, president of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and founding executive director. Since 1984, the Community Loan Fund has made 185 loans for more than $11 million to preserve affordable family housing and created 146 jobs. Eades earned her master's of business administration degree at UNH.

  • James Haller, master chef and author. Founder and executive chef of the gourmet restaurant, The Blue Strawbery, in Portsmouth until 1986, Haller now lectures, writes cookbooks and gives classes for hospice groups and families of the catastrophically ill. He was a member of the board and a volunteer for Seacoast Hospice for 10 years.

  • William Ewert, assistant to the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. Ewert, who earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree at UNH, is highly regarded for his work for the state for the past 30 years. He is also a trustee of the Robert Frost Foundation and is considered an expert on the work and life of the late poet laureate.

April 24, 2000

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