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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Tennis icon Roger Federer to speak at 2024 Commencement ceremony

Federer will receive an honorary degree along with several other individuals who have not yet been disclosed.

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Source: AP News

Former professional tennis player Roger Federer will deliver the 2024 Commencement address on June 9, Dartmouth News announced today. Federer will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the ceremony. 

Considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Federer spent 310 weeks as the top-ranked men’s singles player in the world, won 20 Grand Slams and collected two Olympic medals before retiring from the sport in 2022. As a philanthropist, Federer founded the Roger Federer Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving early education accessibility. 

“Roger Federer is undeniably one the greatest athletes of all time, but it’s the evident joy that he always found on the court that stays with me, and that I think will resonate most with the Class of 2024,” College President Sian Leah Beilock wrote in the announcement.

Across the span of his career, Federer won 103 Association of Tennis Professionals Tour singles titles. Federer is one of only eight men to have completed a “Career Grand Slam” by winning the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open over the course of his time on the circuit. Federer also won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open five consecutive times each — the only athlete in history to do so. 

According to the Roger Federer Foundation website, the organization has worked to provide nearly three million children with quality early education. The foundation — which has been active for 21 years — has invested more than $96 million in early education initiatives for children living in poverty in Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Switzerland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Dartmouth News reported. Federer is a dual citizen of Switzerland and South Africa. 

In 2020, Federer partnered with tennis player Rafael Nadal to raise money for those impacted by the Australian bushfires, according to Dartmouth News. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Federer’s foundation also helped establish access to schooling for Ukrainian children. 

In addition to Federer’s keynote address, Beilock will deliver her first valedictory remarks as College President. 

According to the announcement, several leaders — in fields such as government, medicine, the sciences and technology — will also receive honorary degrees. The College will announce the names of honorary degree recipients “soon,” the announcement stated.