Howard Fineman ’70, renowned political reporter, editor, author, and commentator whose pioneering career spans traditional and new media, will deliver the keynote address at Colgate’s 190th commencement on Sunday, May 15, in Sanford Field House.
Formerly the deputy Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, Fineman was one of the first Washington print reporters to write regularly for the web and now serves as editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic, and, since 1998, he has been a popular analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
Fineman’s book, The Thirteen American Arguments, was published by Random House in 2008 and was a national best seller.
At Colgate, he was editor-in-chief of the Maroon, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and received a Watson fellowship.
The baccalaureate speaker will be Rev. Maria A. Scates, the visionary founder and CEO of Johnson Park Center in Utica, which offers safe and supportive housing for homeless families with special needs, youth programs, mentoring, advocacy, food distribution programs, and community development.
While restoring hope and transforming the Cornhill neighborhood since 1995, the center has welcomed Colgate tutors, Upstate Institute interns, and other volunteers.
Both Fineman and Scates will receive honorary degrees during commencement. Other honorary degree recipients are:
• Irene Brown, a longtime community advocate, is the founder of both the Community Action Partnership of Madison County and the Lifelong Learning Program, a collaboration between Colgate and the Hamilton community. Her husband is Coleman Brown, professor of philosophy and religion, emeritus.
• J. Christopher Clifford ’67, outgoing chair of Colgate’s Board of Trustees, has been a passionate supporter of the university through decades of service and financial support. He has been a force behind the transformative Hamilton Initiative, and integral to the success of Passion for the Climb, the Campaign for Colgate.
• Frans de Waal is highly regarded for his books and research on the social intelligence of primates. He is C.H. Candler Professor of primate behavior at Emory University. In 2007, he was named to Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people.
• Robert H.N. Ho ’56 is best known to Colgate for his support of the science center that bears his name. He also funded an endowed professorship in Asian studies and an endowment that supports a study group to China. He is a trustee emeritus, and founder of the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, a Hong Kong-based independent philanthropic organization that promotes Chinese culture, art education, and Buddhist philosophy through cross-cultural programs throughout the world.
• Gen. Thomas R. Morgan ’52, USMC (Ret), is Colgate’s most celebrated and highest-ranking member of the U.S military. Promoted to the rank of general in 1986, he served as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps until he retired in 1988.