Historian Douglas Brinkley To Give Commencement Address in 198th Year of Allegheny College

May 3, 2013 – Nearly 470 students will graduate from Allegheny College at Commencement on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m. The ceremony takes place in the college’s 198th year.

In addition, Allegheny will award honorary degrees to five distinguished individuals: national leaders in journalism, history, political science, educational reform and social justice. Historian and conservationist Douglas Brinkley will receive an honorary degree and deliver the Commencement address.

A professor of history at Rice University, Brinkley is a bestselling author and presidential historian for CBS News. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly, Brinkley has been described as “a man who knows more about the presidency than just about any human being alive.”

Eight of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and his most recent publications have been New York Times bestsellers: “Voices of Valor: D-Day: June 6, 1944”; “Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War”; “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion”; “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast”; “The Reagan Diaries”; “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America”; “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960”; and “Cronkite.”

Honorary degrees will also be awarded to the Reverend Doctor Joan Brown Campbell, Morris P. Fiorina, James E. Nevels and David M. Shribman.

Joan Brown Campbell, the first woman director of religion at the Chautauqua Institution, has worked for peace and social justice alongside such world leaders as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and former President Bill Clinton. With Carl Sagan and others, she founded in the early 1990s what is today the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, an association of independent faith groups that works to protect humankind’s common home and well-being. She also chairs the Global Peace Initiative of Women, which mobilizes spiritual and religious communities around the world to address key global issues such as climate change while it promotes women’s leadership.

Morris P. Fiorina is the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution. A graduate of Allegheny College, he has written widely on American government and politics, with special emphasis on topics in the study of representation and elections. He has published numerous articles and written or edited 11 books, including “Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America”; “Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics”; and, most recently, “Can We Talk: The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn Politics.”

James E. Nevels is chairman of the Swarthmore Group, an investment advisory firm that he founded in 1991, as well as the chairman of the Hershey Company board of directors. In December 2001, then governor Mark Schweiker appointed Nevels as chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to oversee the turnaround of the financially distressed Philadelphia School System, the seventh largest school district in the United States. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in 2004 and served as chairman from 2005 to 2007.

David M. Shribman has been executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 2003. He has also worked at the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Shribman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for his coverage of Washington and the American political scene. His column “My Point” is syndicated nationally. He was a regular panelist on the PBS show “Washington Week” and a frequent analyst for the BBC and CBC. His “I Remember My Teacher,” a tribute to the nation’s great educators, was published in 2002.

The Commencement ceremony will take place on Bentley Hall lawn, weather permitting. Tickets are required for admission only if the ceremony is held indoors in the Wise Center.