Former Irish president Mary Robinson will speak at a spring commencement for Michigan State University on May 4. The first female president of Ireland will address undergraduates at the university’s Jack Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. After her speech, she will herself be presented with an honorary doctorate of laws.
“Mary Robinson is a respected champion of social justice and equal rights, which will be an inspiration to our future professionals as they prepare to make their mark in the world,” said Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University. “Her example of international leadership aligns with our mission to produce globally savvy, well-rounded students.”
The former president has kept herself busy since leaving office in 1997; she has served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and has been a chairperson of the Council of Women World Leaders. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2009.
Robinson will not be the only speaker at what is turning out to be a star-studded event. Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation; Robert Skandalaris, CEO of Quantum Ventures of Michigan LLC; and Emil Boc, former prime minister of Romania, will also address graduating students. Suresh will receive an honorary doctorate of science, Skandalaris will receive a doctorate in business and Boc will get a doctorate in law.
The former president’s speech will take place at 1pm and is free and open to the public. Those who cannot make it to Michigan but wish to follow events can do so by searching #msugrad12 on Twitter during the ceremony.