Gov. Tom Wolf to Speak at Commencement

Gov.+Tom+Wolf+at+his+inauguration+in+Harrisburg+on+Jan.+20%2C+2015.+Wolf+will+speak+at+the+2016+Commencement+ceremony+on+Sunday%2C+May+22.
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Gov. Tom Wolf to Speak at Commencement

Gov. Tom Wolf at his inauguration in Harrisburg on Jan. 20, 2015. Wolf will speak at the 2016 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22.

Gov. Tom Wolf at his inauguration in Harrisburg on Jan. 20, 2015. Wolf will speak at the 2016 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22.

Gov. Tom Wolf at his inauguration in Harrisburg on Jan. 20, 2015. Wolf will speak at the 2016 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22.

Gov. Tom Wolf at his inauguration in Harrisburg on Jan. 20, 2015. Wolf will speak at the 2016 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22.

Jessica Sykes '16, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will address the class of 2016 at this year’s Commencement ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 22.

“I am honored to be delivering Dickinson’s 2016 commencement speech,” said Wolf on Tuesday through his press secretary Jeffrey Sheridan.  “Throughout my time as governor, I have made education at all levels a priority. I look forward to joining the class of 2016 as they celebrate their hard work and begin a new chapter in their lives.”

At the ceremony, the college will also confer honorary degrees on former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher and Elaine Livas ’83, founder and executive director of Project Survival, Help and Recipient Education (SHARE).

The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize for Global Environmental Activism will be awarded to Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker.

Wolf has received positive responses from students.

“I think he will be a great speaker. He has been trying to change a lot since he took office, and listening to his activist spirit aligns Dickinson’s ideals,” said Sam Gulick ’16, a Pennsylvania resident.

“We’re really excited to get such a high profile governor in the election year,” said Ian Hower ’16, Student Senate president from California. “It shows his commitment to education.”

Wolf was sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 47th governor in 2015 after a successful 30-year career leading his family’s York, PA-based business, The Wolf Organization, a distributor of lumber and other building products.

After selling the business in 2006, Wolf served as secretary of revenue under PA Governor Ed Rendell. During his tenure, Wolf instituted reforms that protected and strengthened the state lottery. He also donated his salary from the state to charity. In early 2009, Wolf suspended a gubernatorial bid to buy back the Wolf Organization, which was on the brink of bankruptcy, and transformed the business to save jobs and return it to profitability.

Wolf has served on and led the boards of numerous organizations dedicated to education, health, welfare, economic development, culture and the arts. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, earned a master’s degree from the University of London, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wolf joined the Peace Corps after his freshman year at Dartmouth and volunteered on agricultural and irrigation projects in India for two years.

Satcher, who will receive a Doctor of Public Health honorary degree, is a physician-scientist and public health administrator with an extensive track record of leadership, research and community engagement. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College and holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University.

Livas enrolled at Dickinson in 1979 and graduated cum laude with a degree in anthropology in 1983. Inspired by the plight of people she met in Carlisle who were struggling to feed themselves and their families, she founded Project SHARE in 1985 to provide food to those in need. She will receive a Doctor of Public Service honorary degree.

Kolbert will be in residence at Dickinson in the fall 2016 semester as the Rose-Walters Prize recipient. Her most recent book, “The Sixth Extinction,” received a Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2015. She is also the author of “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change” and edited “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006.”

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