UC Berkeley News


Let the speechifying commence!

| 05 May 2004


Commencement speaker Ted Koppel highlights a list of distinguished figures who will address 2004’s graduating seniors and grad students during May.

Ted Koppel, anchor and managing editor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” will deliver the keynote address at Berkeley’s 2004 Commencement Convocation on Thursday, May 13. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. in the Greek Theatre with a procession of graduates in caps and gowns.

Commencement Convocation honors the estimated 10,000 students who become eligible during the school year for undergraduate and graduate degrees, with undergrads accounting for some 6,000 of that total. No diplomas will be awarded at the convocation: Instead, degrees will be conferred at individual ceremonies held between May 12 and 29 by some 50 schools, colleges, and departments on campus.

A 39-year veteran of ABC News, Koppel was invited to speak at convocation by graduating seniors. His work as the principal on-air reporter and interviewer for “Nightline,” the first late-night network news program, has earned him a reputation among viewers, critics, and his peers as a journalist par excellence.

Koppel has won broadcasting and journalism’s most prestigious awards. Recently, he and his “Nightline” team were honored with one of broadcasting’s highest honors, the duPont-Columbia University Award, for the prime-time special, “Tip of the Spear.” The program chronicled Koppel’s reporting from the front lines of the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist with the Third Infantry Division.

In addition to Koppel’s speech, convocation will include an address by Berkeley’s top graduating senior, Margaret Ann-Chia Chow. She will be awarded the 2004 University Medal, given to a graduating senior with outstanding accomplishments, including a GPA of at least 3.96. The 21-year-old Chow is a double major in economics and molecular and cell biology. During her four years at Berkeley she edited a scholarly journal and helped prepare disadvantaged students for the SAT. She will attend a drama program in Verona, Italy, this summer and then apply to law school. (See last week’s Berkeleyan for more on Chow, or visit www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2004/04/28_univm.shtml.)

Other events during the ceremony will include presentation of the Class of 2004 gift by representatives from the senior class; a recitation (entitled “Note to Self”) by graduating senior Emily Kagan, well-known to many on campus for her participation in numerous “poetry slam” events; presentation of the Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award to environmental scientists Norman Myers; and an alumni address by Nadesan Permaul, President of the California Alumni Association.

Other familiar names, from the campus and the world at large, are among the speakers scheduled to address graduates receiving their diplomas at departmental, school, and college ceremonies throughout May, including:

Mariane Pearl, journalist and widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who will speak at the Graduate School of Journalism’s commencement on Saturday, May 15, at 3 p.m.

Michael Krasny, host of KQED radio’s “Forum,” who will be the keynote speaker for the English department’s graduation on Sunday, May 16, at 3 p.m. Krasny is also an English professor at San Francisco State University.
Daniel Koshland, professor of cell biology at Berkeley and former editor of the journal Science, who will speak at the graduation for Molecular and Cell Biology on Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m. Koshland is the founder of the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, which recently opened in Washington, D.C.

Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer of Google.com, who will speak at the Haas School of Business graduation on Sunday, May 23, at 7 p.m. Schmidt has a Ph.D. in computer science from Berkeley.

Barbara Lee, member of Congress from California’s Ninth District, who will speak at the African American Studies graduation on Saturday, May 15, at 4 p.m. in the Greek Theatre.

Paul Hawken, entrepreneur, author, and environmentalist, who will speak at the Environmental Sciences graduation on Sunday, May 23, at 10 a.m. on the Chancellor’s Esplanade.

Robert Reich, a familiar figure on campus this semester as a visiting scholar at the Goldman School of Public Policy, who will speak at the school’s graduation on Saturday, May 22, at 10 a.m. in Faculty Glade.

Joe Goode, director of the Joe Goode Performance Ensemble and a faculty member in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, who will address that department’s graduating class on Wednesday, May 19, at 2 p.m. in Zellerbach Playhouse.

For a current listing of Berkeley’s individual graduation ceremonies, as well as general information about Commencement Convocation, visit www.urel.berkeley.edu/seniors/commencement/.