News & Events
Environmental Activist Bill McKibben, Pixar Executive John Lasseter Honored at Eckerd College Commencement
Under a big top tent that seats 5,000 people, 530 students will graduate at the 50th Commencement of Eckerd College on Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. on the South Beach Field of Eckerd's campus. Writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben will be the speaker and will receive an honorary doctorate in human letters. Academy Award-winning animator John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and principal creative advisor of Walt Disney Imagineering, will receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts.
The 401 graduates from the Residential Program and the 130 graduates from the Program for Experienced Learners (PEL) adult degree program - totaling 531 graduates in all - will receive their bachelor's degrees in arts and sciences. The graduates hail from 36 states, including 230 from the State of Florida, and nine countries, including Ghana, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Slovenia, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Nigeria and Singapore. The top five majors of this year's graduating class are environmental studies, marine science, biology, psychology and communication.
For those unable to attend in person, Eckerd will offer live online video streaming at 8 a.m. from the Commencement site. The academic procession will arrive to the ceremony tent and stage between 8 and 8:30 a.m.
About Bill McKibben
Named "the planet's best green journalist" by TIME Magazine, environmental activist Bill McKibben delivered the keynote lecture for Eckerd College's 2011-2012 Presidential Events Series which focused on sustainability. The noted author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet has written about global warming, alternative energy and advocacy for more localized economies for more than 25 years.
Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, including The End of Nature (1989), which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change, and Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007), which addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. The founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009, Bill McKibben has been referred to as "probably the country's most important environmentalist" by The Boston Globe. McKibben has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. In 2011, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
About John Lasseter
A co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, John Lasseter is director of Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2 and Cars and an executive producer for Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. He served as the creative director of Pixar prior to its 2006 merger with Disney and saw the 2004 film The Incredibles to its award-winning success. Lasseter has written, directed and animated many of Pixar's short films and commercials. Prior to his tenure with Pixar, he was a member of the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd., and previously worked as an animator at Disney.
A pioneer in developing the art and science of computer-generated animation, Lasseter was the first traditionally trained animator to work with computer animation in the world. In 2010, he was the first producer of animated films to receive the Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures from the Producers Guild of America. A two-time Academy Award-winning director and animator, he received the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Tin Toy in 1988 and a Special Achievement Oscar for his leadership of the Toy Story team in 1995. Lasseter was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
John began his education at Pepperdine University and graduated with a B.A. degree from the California Institute of the Arts.
Click here for more information about Eckerd College's 2013 Commencement. All photos, remarks, citations and names of student and faculty award recipients will be posted online following the graduation ceremonies.