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Bard College Holds One Hundred Fiftieth Commencement on Saturday, May 22, 2010

Internationally Acclaimed Novelist Margaret Atwood to Deliver Commencement Address; Honorary Degrees Will Be Awarded to Atwood, Economist Alan S. Blinder, Xavier University President Norman C. Francis, and Physicist Lisa Randall

Darren O'Sullivan
Margaret Atwood
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Bard College will hold its one hundred fiftieth commencement on Saturday, May 22, 2010. At the commencement ceremony, Bard President Leon Botstein will confer 431 undergraduate degrees on the Class of 2010 and 130 graduate degrees, including master of fine arts; doctor and master of philosophy and master of arts in decorative arts, design history, and material culture; master of arts in teaching; master of arts in curatorial studies; master of science in environmental policy; and master of music in vocal arts. The program, which begins at 2:30 p.m. in the commencement tent on the Seth Goldfine Memorial Field, will include the presentation of honorary doctoral degrees.

The commencement address will be given by internationally acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood, who will receive an honorary doctor of letters. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to economist Alan S. Blinder, Xavier University President Norman C. Francis, diplomat Brandon H. Grove Jr. ’50, investor Henry G. Jarecki, and physicist Lisa Randall.

Other events taking place during commencement weekend include class reunions; a concert by Bard student soloists and composers with the American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein, conductor; and the granting of Bard College awards for 2010. The Bard Medal will be presented to Emily H. Fisher; the John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science to A. James Hudspeth; the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters to Billy Steinberg '72; the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service to Raymond Peterson; the Bardian Award to Aileen Passloff; and the Mary McCarthy Award to Margaret Atwood.

Click here to view the live webcast of Commencement 2010

About the Commencement Speaker

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa. She grew up spending a great deal of time in the wilds of northern Ontario and Quebec, and later came to reside in Toronto, Canada. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College. She has since been awarded honorary degrees from more than twenty institutions, including Oxford and Harvard, the Sorbonne, and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

An avid environmentalist, Atwood, and her partner, writer Graeme Gibson, are honorary co-presidents of BirdLife International, a global initiative devoted to the conservation of birds and their fragile habitats. She is also one of the current vice presidents of International PEN, a worldwide organization of writers dedicated to promoting and protecting freedom of expression.

Atwood is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), and Alias Grace (1996). The Blind Assassin won the 2000 Booker Prize, and in April 2003, her eleventh novel, the Man Booker Prize-nominated Oryx and Crake, was released to great acclaim. Atwood’s The Penelopiad, a retelling of The Odyssey from the perspective of Penelope and her maids, was released in the fall of 2005 and she has since adapted it for stage performance. Her latest publications demonstrate her versatility and include a collection of short stories, Moral Disorder, and a collection of poems, The Door, which was nominated for a 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award. In her CBC Massey Lecture Series, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008), Atwood stressed the importance of paying our debts—cultural, social, and environmental. Most recently, Atwood worked with Zerofootprint to ensure that the worldwide promotional tour for her new novel, The Year of the Flood, was carbon neutral. 

Atwood’s work has reached a global audience through translations in more than thirty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic, and Estonian. 

To download a high resolution photograph of Margaret Atwood go to:

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This event was last updated on 06-02-2010