TFA founder Wendy Kopp to deliver 2012 Commencement address

Founder and CEO of Teach for America Wendy Kopp will deliver the Commencement address to the Class of 2012 on June 10, according to a College press release. Kopp, as well as South African musician Johnny Clegg, human rights activist Aqqaluk Lynge, philanthropist Steven Roth ’62 Tu ’63 and Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego Marye Anne Fox GR ’74, will receive honorary degrees from the College at this year’s Commencement ceremony.

Kopp first proposed the creation of Teach for America, a non-profit organization through which college graduates spend two years teaching in under-resourced schools, in her undergraduate thesis in 1989 while she was a senior at Princeton University. The organization currently employs over 9,000 graduates across the country.

More than 120 Dartmouth graduates have worked for the organization since 2005, and over 40 applications from Dartmouth’s Class of 2012 were approved this year, according to the release.

Kopp is also the CEO of Teach for All, a network of 23 independent organizations that aim to promote global equity in the field of education.

“It’s a tremendous honor to address the Class of 2012,” Kopp said in the release. “Dartmouth students have always had a strong commitment to public service, and many have gone on to become some of Teach for America’s most outstanding corps members and alumni.”

Last year’s Commencement speaker, comedian Conan O’Brien, will be a “hard act to follow,” she said.

College President Jim Yong Kim will deliver the Valedictory address.

Clegg, a South African singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist and musical activist, has sold over five million albums worldwide. He has won a variety of national and international awards for his music and for his views on political issues facing South Africa.

Clegg has spent his career blending different cultural elements through his art, and he has experience living in England, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Fox is an acclaimed chemist and a 2010 recipient the National Medal of Science. She served as an advisor to former George W. Bush during his tenure as governor of Texas and later on Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She is also a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.

Lynge, an Inuit human rights leader, is president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. He is the founder of the Greenland Socialist Party, Inuit Ataqatigiit, and a former member of Greenland’s Parliament. Lynge served as a Dickey Fellow in 2008 and participated in the Dartmouth-Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference on Climate Change and Arctic Security in 2009.

Roth was named one of the most respected CEOs in the world by Barrons. He serves as chairman of the board and past CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, co-founder of Interstate Properties and chairman and CEO of Alexander’s, Inc. Roth is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees and serves as chairman of the Board’s finance committee. His family was the principal donor to the College’s Roth Center for Jewish Life.

The Class Day and Investiture ceremonies for the College’s three professional schools will take place before Commencement on June 9.

Co-founder of Partners in Health Paul Farmer will speak for the graduating class of the Geisel School of Medicine. University of Texas at Austin engineering professor Robert Metcalfe will address the graduating class of the Thayer School of Engineering, while Roth will speak at the commencement ceremony of the Tuck School of Business.

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