The University of Denver has announced speakers for the spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies in May and June.
Michael Bennet, United States senator for Colorado, will deliver the spring undergraduate Commencement address on Saturday, June 6, and Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, will deliver the 2015 spring graduate Commencement address on Friday, June 5. Ken Salazar, former secretary of the interior, will speak at the Sturm College of Law Commencement on Saturday, May 16.
Bennet, who was appointed to the Senate in 2009 and elected to a full six-year term in 2010, previously served as superintendent of Denver Public Schools. Prior to that he was chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Bennet earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal.
Schneider has developed and led a series of national initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), a national organization devoted to the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. “Liberal Education and America’s Promise” (LEAP), a public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what really matters in a college education for the 21st century, builds on AAC&U’s major effort, “Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College,” a multiyear initiative designed to articulate the aims of a 21st-century education and to identify comprehensive, innovative models that improve learning for all undergraduate students.
Schneider received a bachelor’s degree in history from Mount Holyoke College. She studied at the University of London’s Institute for Historical Research and earned a PhD in history from Harvard University. She holds 11 honorary degrees and has taught at Boston University, Chicago State University, the University of Chicago and DePaul University.
Now a partner in the global law firm of WilmerHale, Salazar served in the U.S. Senate for Colorado from 2004–09. He previously served as the state’s attorney general, as executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and as chief legal counsel to Gov. Roy Romer. Salazar holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College and a law degree from the University of Michigan.