UC Berkeley press release

NEWS RELEASE #14564, 5/2/97

Bill Cosby, Johnnie Cochran, Stacy Keach and others to address 1997 UC Berkeley graduates

by Robert Sanders

Berkeley -- Comedian Bill Cosby heads a long list of scholars, writers and personalities who will address the 1997 graduating classes at the University of California at Berkeley in May.

More than 60 departments, schools and colleges will hold separate graduation ceremonies between May 10 and May 22 as part of UC Berkeley's 134th commencement. Approximately 8,500 students are expected to graduate this year, 5,700 with bachelor's degrees and nearly 800 with doctorates.

Cosby will deliver the season's main address at a Commencement Convocation for all graduating seniors on Tuesday, May 13, at 4 p.m. in the Hearst Greek Theatre. A limited number of free tickets, two per customer, are being distributed through the Zellerbach Ticket Office.

Also speaking at the convocation, which is organized by the Senior Class Council, will be departing Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien and this year's top graduating senior, Carl Ryanen-Grant. While battling malignant melanoma, Ryanen-Grant earned straight "As," and will receive the campus's highest academic honor, the University Medal, in honor of his scholastic achievements.

Among other speakers at May's graduation ceremonies will be O. J. Simpson's lead defense attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. He will speak at the African American Studies graduation Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. in the Greek Theatre. The ceremony is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased for $3 at the Zellerbach Ticket Office.

In addition, former presidential advisor George Stephanopoulos will address graduating students in political science, while U.S. News & World Report editor James Fallows will speak at the School of Journalism.

Actor and 1963 Cal alumnus Stacy Keach will return to speak to graduates of the Center for Theater Arts (formerly dramatic arts), and Berkeley poet and journalist Mark O'Brien, the disabled subject of the recent Oscar-winning documentary "Breathing Lessons," will talk at the English Department graduation. Spy novelist Martin Cruz Smith, author of "Gorky Park" and a new book "The Rose," will address history graduates.

Graduates of the School of Public Health will hear from Dr. David Satcher, director of the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; tobacco company nemesis and UC San Francisco professor Dr. Stanton Glantz will talk at the human biodynamics department graduation ceremony.

Finally, UC Berkeley economics and business Professor Laura D'Andrea Tyson, President Clinton's former chief economic advisor, will address graduates of the economics department.

Click here for a full list of confirmed commencement events and speakers.

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