2019 Harvard Commencement Speaker

Harvard Graduation Speaker, 2019 Harvard Speaker, Harvard Graduation Address

Angela Merkel will address graduates of Harvard this May (photo credit: Armin Linnartz).

Harvard University has announced the principal speaker at the school’s 2019 commencement exercises. The honor will go to a leader of the free world, Chancellor of Germany Angela D. Merkel. That’s right. At the 268th commencement exercises of Harvard University, it will be the leader not of the United States but of Germany that addresses graduates and guests. One can’t help but think the choice serves as a rebuke of the current President of the United States, although three previous German chancellors have also addressed graduates at past Harvard commencement ceremonies. Ultimately, whether it’s an unspoken message from the Harvard administration and alumni association or not, it’s surely a coup for the school nonetheless to land the de facto leader of the European Union as speaker.

Angela Merkel to Speak at Harvard Commencement

As Iris M. Lewis reports for “The Harvard Crimson” in a piece entitled “Angela Merkel Named 2019 Harvard Commencement Speaker,” “During her tenure, Merkel — a member of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party — has sought to protect the environment, offered a strong defense of the EU, and worked to address issues of migration. She is the first woman to lead her country. Merkel has earned significant recognition for her achievements; she won the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and was named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2015. She also topped Forbes’s 2018 list of the world’s most powerful women — a nod to her deep, decades-long involvement in European leadership. Merkel has earned significant recognition for her achievements; she won the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and was named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2015. She also topped Forbes’s 2018 list of the world’s most powerful women — a nod to her deep, decades-long involvement in European leadership.”

It will be interesting to see the commencement speaker announcements in the months to come from other of our nation’s elite institutions. Harvard has certainly set the tone this year. Let’s see if others will follow their lead.

 
 

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