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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

McCullough to address '03s

Acclaimed historian David McCullough will deliver the annual Commencement address June 8, the College announced yesterday.

The selection of McCullough follows the address last year by children's television host Fred Rogers. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright was the speaker in 2001.

McCullough, a graduate of Yale University and winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, will also add an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the College to the 31 honorary titles he already holds.

Among his better-known books are his biographies of presidents Harry Truman and John Adams. The Adams biography was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 months. A frequent lecturer, McCullough narrated several documentaries, including the renowned series "The Civil War" on PBS.

McCullough started as a writer for Time magazine. In the 1960s, he wrote for American Heritage magazine at the same time he worked at the U.S. Information Agency.

An article he wrote during his stint at American Heritage was the inspiration for his first book, "The Johnstown Flood." He has been a full-time writer ever since.

A supporter of libraries, McCullough served as trustee of the West Tisbury and Boston Public Libraries and also of Monticello National Monument and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

A former president of the Society of American Historians, McCullough is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, he now lives in West Tisbury, Mass.

College President James Wright has ultimate say in the selection of Commencement speakers, though the Council on Honorary Degrees, the Board of Trustees and Wright all collaborate to create a list of possible orators.

Other recipients of honorary degrees this spring include tennis champion Billie Jean King, National Science Foundation director Rita Colwell, African-American former Assistant Surgeon General Marilyn Hughes Gaston and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.S. Merwin.

Aerospace executive and former Dartmouth Trustee Robert Henderson '53 Tu '54 and corporate banker Frederick Whittemore '53 Tu '54 are the two Dartmouth alumni that will be honored.

English professor Nancy Crumbine will be the faculty speaker at graduation ceremonies and Class Day, the Senior Executive Committee announced.

Adam Kuhlmann '03 will serve as Class Orator, while Heather Harrington '03, Sheridan Fox '03, Nancy Lai '03 and Scott Rutherford '03 were named as Class Historians.

Amit Anand '03, Leah Wright '03, Oliver Bernstein '03, Mia Yocco '03, Jonathan Hollander '03, Heidi Williams '03, Lauren Foley '03 and James Joun '03 will serve as Class Marshals.