New York, NY – At Barnard College’s 117th Commencement ceremony on May 18th, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will address approximately 585 members of the Class of 2009 and receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction, the College’s highest honor, alongside three other remarkable women: PepsiCo’s Chief Executive Officer Indra K. Nooyi; Harvard University’s William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts Irene J. Winter ’60; and former general counsel to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice Kay C. Murray.
“Secretary Clinton represents everything we embody at Barnard. A lifetime of public service and intellectual excellence have made her one of the most respected women in America, and in the world. She joins an exemplary group of medalists whose careers have shaped opportunities for women in their fields,” said Anna Quindlen ’74, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and bestselling author. “It’s our honor to welcome them all.”
Read about and watch the press conference.
This will be Secretary Clinton’s second visit to Barnard in the past year. In September 2008 then-Senator Clinton held a press conference on campus addressing a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on pay inequity in the workplace. Barnard President Debora Spar said, “It is a great honor to welcome Secretary Clinton back to Barnard, and a tremendous opportunity for our graduates to hear from a leader with such deep and personal appreciation for the challenges and possibilities facing women today.”
Spar, who will preside over her first Spring Commencement ceremony since assuming leadership of the College in July 2008, will confer the medals, present the degree candidates and address the expected crowd of approximately 5,000 graduates, family members, faculty and staff of Barnard, the most sought after women’s college in the nation.
Hillary R. Clinton is the 67th Secretary of State of the United States. Secretary Clinton joined the State Department after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and twice-elected Senator of the state of New York. In her historic campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination, she won more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history.
Chair of the board and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Indra K. Nooyi leads one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion. Her global perspective and commitment to sustainable growth have contributed to making her one of corporate America’s top visionaries. She is consistently named on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
An art historian and authority on the art and architecture of ancient Mesopotamia, Irene J. Winter is the Boardman Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard University, where she has served on the faculty since 1988. She is widely published on the archaeology of the ancient Near East, and has been active in encouraging U.S. and international efforts to recover and restore looted archaeological materials in Iraq and control the plundering of sites.
Kay C. Murray is an attorney and former general counsel to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice. Honored for her legal work and her tireless commitment to diversity in the public and private sector, she has served as an inspiration and mentor to young women pursuing careers in law. She is a past president of the Columbia Law School Alumni Association and the recipient of the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility.