UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Craigslist founder to give commencement speech

– Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, the hip and ubiquitous classified advertising Web site, says he'll be winging his keynote speech to graduating seniors at the University of California, Berkeley's Commencement Convocation next Tuesday, May 13.

Craig Newmark
Craig Newmark (Gene X Hwang/Orange Photography)
But overall, Newmark says he will urge students to change the world using the tools of the Internet, and to follow these simple business do's and don'ts: "Never read a prepared speech unless you're really good at it; for a genuine perspective on corporate life, read Dilbert; and brevity is the soul of wit."

In 1995, craigslist started out as an e-mail list that Newmark sent to his friends from his San Francisco apartment. It now ranks among the world's most popular online free advertising services. Earlier this year, Newmark helped establish the first endowed faculty chair at UC Berkeley's Center for New Media with a $1.6 million donation.

Commencement Convocation, an annual event that honors all of UC Berkeley's graduating seniors, begins at 4 p.m. at the Greek Theatre. It will include a procession of students and faculty in colorful regalia. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will address the graduates and their families. Among the student speakers will be top graduating senior Leslie Chung-Lei Sheu, who majored in molecular cell and biology. At convocation, Sheu will receive the coveted University Medal for her tuberculosis research, hepatitis B outreach and work with adoptees and orphans from China. Read more about Sheu.

Convocation marks the start of UC Berkeley's graduation season, during which dozens of individual ceremonies are held by the campus's schools, colleges and departments. At least 10,000 students are expected to receive diplomas at their respective commencement ceremonies. Approximately 6,800 bachelor's degrees and more than 3,000 master's, doctoral and professional degrees will be conferred.

This year for the first time, undergraduates will have their diplomas mailed to them free of charge, along with a brief letter from the chancellor congratulating them on their accomplishments and welcoming them to the Cal alumni community. Previously, students could collect their diplomas for free from Sproul Hall or pay $12 to have them mailed to them.

Speakers at the campus's individual graduation ceremonies being held through May 25 will include Mary Schroeder, outgoing chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris; UNICEF executive director Ann Veneman and poet, essayist and novelist Ishmael Reed, a UC Berkeley English Department lecturer emeritus.

Scheduled graduation speakers include:

Friday, May 16
Bengt Baron, CEO of Absolut Vodka, who will speak to graduates of the Haas School of Business at 2 p.m. at the Greek Theatre.
Edith Kramer, former curator and director of the Pacific Film Archive, who will address graduates in film studies at 2 p.m. in the Zellerbach Playhouse.

Saturday, May 17
Mary Schroeder, outgoing chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She will speak to graduates of the UC Berkeley School of Law at 9 a.m. at the Greek Theatre.
Ann Veneman, executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), who will address graduates of the Goldman School of Public Policy at 10 a.m. at the Krutch Theater on the Clark Kerr campus.
Kamala Harris, San Francisco District Attorney. She will speak to students graduating in African American studies at 2 p.m. at the Greek Theatre.
Genevieve Bell, director of the User Experience Group at Intel, who will address graduates of the School of Information at 2 p.m. at the Campanile Esplanade.

Sunday, May 18
Ishmael Reed, essayist and playwright. He will speak to graduates of the English Department at 3 p.m. at the Greek Theatre.

Monday May 19
Gloria Duffy, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club, who will speak to political science graduates at 2 p.m. at the Greek Theatre.

Wednesday, May 21
Gerald Vizenor, author and professor at the University of New Mexico, who will address graduates of American studies, cognitive science, mass communications, religious studies and interdisciplinary studies at 9 a.m. at the Greek Theatre.
Philip Kan Gotanda, Bay Area playwright and filmmaker. He will speak to Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies graduates at 2 p.m. at Zellerbach Playhouse.

Thursday, May 22
Lillian Rubin, artist and writer. She will speak to sociology graduates at 1:45 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall.

Friday, May 23
Arthur Rosenfeld, commissioner of the California Energy Commission, who will address astronomy graduates at 7 p.m. at Zellerbach Auditorium.

Saturday, May 24
Richard Blum, chair of UC Regents, who will speak to engineering graduates at 8:30 a.m. at the Greek Theatre.

Sunday, May 25
Ivan Sutherland, a vice president at Sun Microsystems. He will address computer science graduates at 2 p.m. in Zellerbach Auditorium.