President Shirley Ann Jackson has announced that Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, will address Rensselaer graduates on May 28, during the 210th Commencement Ceremony. Cousin will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony for her contributions as leader of the world’s largest humanitarian organization and her role in raising awareness of food insecurity and chronic malnutrition.
“At Rensselaer, we prepare our students to solve the greatest challenges of our global society,” said President Jackson. “These challenges are complex and interconnected; they require solutions based in deep scientific understanding and cutting-edge technology. We are delighted that the Rensselaer community will benefit from the insights and experiences of Ertharin Cousin, who employs multicultural, multinational, multidimensional, technologically based strategies at the World Food Programme, with the ultimate goal of ending hunger worldwide.”
Rensselaer is establishing a new paradigm for the technological research university that we term ‘The New Polytechnic,’ which is predicated on the necessity of pooling talents and perspectives in order to address the great global challenges. So we are pleased to welcome three honorands who have unified people and ideas with such resounding success.”—President Shirley Ann Jackson
In addition to serving as Commencement speaker, Cousin will join Dr. David Skorton, 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate and professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas, for the President’s Commencement Colloquy on May 27. The discussion, titled “The Unity Underlying Diversity: Multi-cultural, Intellectual, and Geographic,” will be moderated by President Jackson.
“Rensselaer is establishing a new paradigm for the technological research university that we term ‘The New Polytechnic,’ which is predicated on the necessity of pooling talents and perspectives in order to address the great global challenges,” she said. “So we are pleased to welcome three honorands who have unified people and ideas with such resounding success.”
For the past 13 years, the Commencement Colloquy has served as a forum for discussion between leaders and influencers with diverse perspectives on global challenges. Past Colloquy participants have included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group David M. Rubenstein, and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
The Colloquy will take place in the concert hall of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at 3:30 p.m.
Additional information regarding the 210th Commencement at Rensselaer.
Additional information regarding the 2016 President’s Commencement Colloquy.