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Connecticut Colleges Announce Commencement Speakers

Apr 28, 2017

Graduation season is approaching, and eminent poets, authors, and other notables will be presenting the 2017 commencements at Connecticut colleges and universities. 

Tatyana McFadden will speak at Mitchell College on Saturday, May 13.

Born in Russia, Tatyana McFadden is considered the world’s fastest woman. She broke five world records, won 17 Paralympic Medals, and won 18 world marathons. 

Theo Epstein will speak at Yale University on Sunday, May 21. Epstein graduated from Yale University in 1995. He is the former general manager of the Red Sox, and is now president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs.

Epstein was noted for being the youngest general manager in Major League Baseball, and helped the Red Sox achieve their World Series win in 2004. Epstein also helped the Chicago Cubs achieve their World Series win in 2016.

Colson Whitehead will present the keynote at Connecticut College’s commencement on Sunday, May 21.

Born in New York City and a graduate of Harvard University, Colson Whitehead is a critically acclaimed novelist and a New York Times bestseller. He has written six novels, including The Intuitionist and The Underground Railroad.

Claudia Rankine will deliver the keynote at Wesleyan University on Sunday, May 28.

Rankine is an award-winning poet and author of various volumes of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Rankine got her B.A. in English from Williams College and a Master's in poetry from Columbia University. Her most recent work, Citizen: An American Lyric, received numerous awards.

Donald Graham will highlight the keynote at Eastern Connecticut State University graduation on Tuesday, May 16.

Graham will also be honored with a degree at the XL Center in Hartford. He's the chairman of Graham Holdings Company and is known for his work at The Washington Post, beginning his career as a reporter in the early '70s, and excelling to president of the company in the early '90s.