Jill Abramson to deliver Barnard commencement speech

Jill Abramson. (Screencap via CBS Sunday Morning.)
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Graduation season is still more than three months away, but it's never too early to flaunt one's high profile commencement speakers, right?

New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson will be the next to fill that role at Barnard College, the school announced today. She follows in the footseps of Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Meryl Streep and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The ceremony is scheduled for May 14.

“We have so many reasons to value Ms. Abramson’s place in history as the first woman to appear at the top of The New York Times masthead,” said Barnard President Debora L. Spar in a statement. “From her early days as a reporter to her current post as the paper’s executive editor, she has been unfailing in her convictions and a true inspiration. I am certain that our graduates will be energized by her words and personal story.”

The full announcement is below (Hat tip: Bwog):

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New York, NY – Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, will deliver the keynote at Barnard College’s 120th Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 14, at 12:30 p.m. on Columbia University’s South Lawn. She will address approximately 600 members of the Class of 2012 and receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction, the College’s highest honor, along with three other pioneers in their fields: Helene D. Gayle ’76, president and CEO of CARE USA; Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry; and Sally Chapman, Barnard professor of chemistry.

“We have so many reasons to value Ms. Abramson’s place in history as the first woman to appear at the top of The New York Times masthead,” said Barnard President Debora L. Spar. “From her early days as a reporter to her current post as the paper’s executive editor, she has been unfailing in her convictions and a true inspiration. I am certain that our graduates will be energized by her words and personal story.”

Spar will preside over the Commencement ceremony, confer the Barnard Medals of Distinction, present the degree candidates, and address the expected crowd of approximately 3,500 graduates, family and friends, faculty, and staff of Barnard. The graduates will also hear from Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald ’81, chair of the Barnard Board of Trustees and CEO of the Alberleen Group.

In recent years, Barnard’s Commencement speakers have included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and legendary actress Meryl Streep.