Introduction of Commencement Speaker
Dr. Donald R. Eastman, III, President of Eckerd College
On this 50th Commencement of Eckerd College, it is only fitting that students nominated a speaker who embodies one of the five values that define Eckerd College: environmentalism.
Indeed, The Boston Globe defined our speaker as "probably the country's most important environmentalist." Time Magazine recognized him as "the planet's best green journalist." In 2011, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, our nation's foremost policy research center on complex and emerging problems.
So central is his work to the preservation of our natural environment, his profoundly impactful book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet is required reading for all seniors in their capstone course, Quest for Meaning.
And so inspiring is our speaker that, following his lecture launching last year's Presidential Events Series, more than 200 students organized a journey to follow him in peaceful demonstration in Washington, DC.
To many here today, he is a role model, a mentor, a hero. To Eckerd College, he is a friend.
Please welcome environmentalist, educator, author, and peaceful activist, Bill McKibben.