New York Times columnist to deliver 2013 commencement address

SU officials announced Sunday that award-winning journalist and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof will be this year's commencement speaker.

Nicholas Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and opinion columist for the New York Times, will be delivering the commencement speech at Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental and Science and Forestry's graduaton ceremony May 12.

"Nicholas Kristof personifies so many of our aspirations for our graduating students," Chancellor Nancy Cantor said in a March 3 SU news release.

Kristof has been a member of the New York Times staff since 1984, serving as a correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo, according to the release.

Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square movement, according to the release. Kristof won another Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his coverage of the genocide in Darfur.

His columns in the New York Times have covered subjects including global health, poverty and gender issues in the developing world, according to the release.

The process to select a speaker for commencement begins more than a year in advance, according to the release. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are given the opportunity to suggest speakers online and the list of suggestions is sent to a selection committee. The committee is comprised of senior marshalls, student marshalls from each school and college at SU and student representatives for the Board of Trustees. Chancellor Cantor then selects the speaker based on relevance to the community and availability, according to the release.

"As our graduating students prepare to go out and make a difference in the world, they could not hear words of wisdom from anyone more experienced at doing just that," Cantor said in the release.

Kristof said in the release he is thrilled to speak to SU graduates.

"I hope to give them somthing to think about as they work out the next chapter of their lives," he said.

University Lecture series: Nicholas Kristof from The NewsHouse on Vimeo.

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