Thomas Perez is 2014 Commencement Speaker
The Oberlin College Commencement exercises will be held on Monday, May 26, on Tappan Square, at which time students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music will receive their degrees. In addition to Commencement, the college will welcome alumni and their families for class reunion gatherings and special events on the weekend of May 23 to 26.
Perez was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the nation’s 26th secretary of labor, and was sworn in on July 23, 2013. Perez previously served as assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. The civil rights division enforces federal laws that prohibit discrimination and upholds the civil and constitutional rights of all who live in the United States.
Under Perez’s leadership as assistant attorney general, the division successfully implemented the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act; expanded equal housing opportunity by bringing and settling the largest fair-lending cases in history; protected schoolchildren from discrimination, bullying, and harassment; dramatically expanded access to employment, housing, and educational opportunities for people with disabilities; and protected the right to vote for all eligible voters free from discrimination.
The speaker for the Baccalaureate Ceremony will be Mary Evelyn Tucker, senior lecturer and senior research scholar at Yale University. Tucker teaches in a joint master’s program in religion and ecology between the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School. She also is a cofounder and codirector of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.
Honorary degree, community service, and Alumni Association award winners are:
Christopher Browning ’67, Honorary Doctor of Humanities
Marta Kutas ’71, Honorary Doctor of Science
Groesbeck Parham ’70, Honorary Doctor of Humanities and Science
Harald Vogel, Honorary Doctor of Music
Robert S. Lemle ’75, Alumni Medal
Patricia Holsworth, Community Service Award
Oberlin’s Commencement/Reunion Weekend will feature such long-standing traditions as the Baccalaureate Ceremony, Illumination, the grand piano extravaganza, Oberlin Steel band, and some quirky Oberlin-style outfitting for the academic procession. More information about speakers and events can be found on Oberlin’s Commencement page.