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Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and one of the nation’s leading advocates for children, families and disadvantaged Americans, will deliver the keynote address at Colgate’s 184th commencement exercises on Sunday, May 15.


Rev. J. Bryan Hehir will give the baccalaureate sermon. A well-respected theologian for his work in ethics and international relations, Hehir serves as the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the practice of religion and public life at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is the former president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, and served on the faculty at Georgetown University and Harvard Divinity School.

Alex Katz, r
egarded as one of the most important and influential American artists of the 20th century, is renowned for his paintings and portraits that express a unique interpretation of modern realism. His flat, graphic style and large-scale works modernized the tradition of portraiture. Since the late 1950s, portraits have been the mainstay of Katz’s work - especially of his wife, Ada, son, Vincent, and a circle of friends composed of artists, poets, critics and dancers.

Emlyn Griffith ’42
was a member of the New York State Board of Regents for 23 years and has dedicated much of his career to public service in the education field. An attorney, he has served in a number of leadership positions with the state and county bar associations. Griffith, a lifelong resident of Rome, N.Y., has been an advocate for Colgate for many years, particularly in encouraging talented local students to attend his alma mater.


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