U.S. Senator John S. McCain To Speak At University of Pennsylvania Commencement

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Media Contact:Phyllis Holtzman | | 215- 898-8721March 22, 2001

PHILADELPHIA -- John S. McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona and recent presidential candidate, will deliver the Commencement address at the 245th Commencement ceremony of the University of Pennsylvania on Monday, May 21. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Franklin Field, 33rd and South streets. Approximately 6,000 degrees will be conferred.

Sen. McCain, 64, has been an outspoken advocate for the reform of government institutions and has won national recognition as a voice and force for tax reform and campaign finance reform. A Republican, he is widely popular among Democrats, independents and minority voters in his home state, and mounted a strong challenge to George W. Bush for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.

Sen. McCain, now in his third term, is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and has become a recognized leader on telecommunications and aviation issues. He has won numerous awards from taxpayer and foreign policy organizations for his distinguished public leadership.

A former naval aviator and U.S. Congressman, Sen. McCain set an inspirational standard for courage, integrity, and patriotism during more than five years of captivity -- including two years in solitary confinement -- as a prisoner of war in the infamous and wretched "Hanoi Hilton." Following this ordeal, he resumed his military service for nine years before launching his political career in 1982, when he was elected to a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sen. McCain will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Other honorary degree recipients are:

  • Dr. Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Laureate and immunologist whose research in the signaling and recognition mechanisms of the cellular immune system has been vital in helping to avoid rejection in organ transplants. He is Chairman of the Department of Immunology at St. Jude Children's Hospital and a professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Tennessee.
  • Mr. Andrs M. Duany and Ms. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, internationally distinguished architects who founded "The New Urbanism" movement, which has revolutionized the way cities are viewed and redeveloped. They crafted the master plan to create the new town of Seaside, Florida, hailed by Time magazine as "the most astounding design achievement of its era."
  • Dr. Daniel Kahneman, an award-winning psychologist whose work in the field of human decision making has influenced fields such as economics, marketing, the social sciences, and political science. Dr. Kahneman is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.
  • Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, an educator and leader, has won national acclaim for her efforts to open higher education -- particularly elite private institutions -- to students from all economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. In July, she will resign her presidency at Smith College to become the first woman president of Brown University and the first African American to head an Ivy League university.

This year's Baccalaureate speaker will be Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake, former (six term) U.S. Representative, and the senior pastor of the 10,000-member Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Queens, New York, where he has served since 1976. Under Dr. Flake's leadership, the church has become a model for faith-based development across the country.

The Baccalaureate Ceremony, an interfaith program that includes music, readings and prayers, will take place in Irvine Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, May 20. There will be two consecutive ceremonies at 1:30 and 3 p.m.