For Current Updates on COVID-19:


Former President Clinton to deliver Middlebury College commencement address May 27

January 16, 2007

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Former President of the United States Bill Clinton will deliver the commencement address at the Middlebury College graduation ceremony on May 27. President Clinton will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Robert De Cormier, Janet Tiebout Hanson, James Gustave Speth, Marc A. and Dana Lim vanderHeyden, and Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi will receive honorary degrees as well.

The College has received many inquiries from alumni and the public about how they may attend or view President Clinton's address. You'll find the latest info on tickets and viewing at the Commencement web site.

- John Emerson
Secretary of the College
"It is a great honor to have President Clinton as the Middlebury College commencement speaker.  His dedication to a career in public service and the philanthropic work he has done since leaving public office are an inspiration to college students seeking ways to change and improve both our country and our world," said Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz.   

Subscribers to Comcast Cable may view a live broadcast of Clinton's talk on Middlebury MCTV, Channel 16; Bennington CAT-TV, Channel 16; Montpelier ORCA, Channel 16; and Burlington RETN, Channel 16. The speech will also be available via a live Web cast on the Middlebury College Web site at

Elected president in 1992, and again in 1996, Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be awarded a second term. During his administration, the U.S. experienced economic expansion; welfare reform; budget surpluses; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and high home ownership and college enrollment rates. His accomplishments as president also include increasing investment in education, expanding access to technology, encouraging investment in underserved communities, and protecting the environment.

Prior to his first run for the presidency, Clinton served as the governor of Arkansas, chairman of the National Governors' Association and attorney general of Arkansas.

Since leaving office in 2001, President Clinton has established the William J. Clinton Foundation, which works to address critical issues at home and abroad.  The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative has dramatically reduced the cost of antiretroviral drugs for over 500,000 people and works in 25 countries to provide medical services and treatment to adults and children living with HIV/AIDS.  In addition, the Foundation's initiatives focus on international development, climate change, the childhood obesity epidemic in America and economic empowerment.  The Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference held in New York, encourages participants to take a specific action on a number of pressing global challenges.  In two years, it has resulted in $10 billion in commitments from hundreds of participants. 

President Clinton and former President Bush have worked together twice on large-scale fundraising efforts - once following the Indian Ocean tsunami and again after Hurricane Katrina.

The Clinton Presidential Center, located in Little Rock, Ark., is composed of a library, archives, the Clinton Foundation offices and the Clinton School of Public Service. The foundation also has an office in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

President Clinton graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and shortly thereafter entered politics in Arkansas.

The college will award six other individuals with honorary degrees as well. Robert De Cormier is the director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus (VSO Chorus), which he founded in 1993.  He will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, De Cormier is the former music director of the New York Choral Society, and the founder of the Robert De Cormier Singers and Counterpoint, a nine-member vocal ensemble made up of VSO Chorus members. His many conducting engagements range from Broadway and opera to numerous concert tours throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has also composed a wide variety of works, including those for ballet, choral groups, Broadway and television.

Janet Tiebout Hanson, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, is a former managing director and senior advisor to the president of Lehman Brothers. She recently launched Broad Impact, whose mission is to work with companies to position and develop their brands and organizations with employees and leaders. Lehman Brothers is the new firm's first client. Hanson is also the founder and chairman of $2 billion Milestone Capital Management, the only women-owned institutional money market fund management company in the U.S. Hanson created 85 Broads as well, an internet-based global network established in 1999 originally of former and current Goldman Sachs women professionals that has grown to more than 17,000 members worldwide, including women business school and undergraduate college students. She is the author of the 2006 book "More Than 85 Broads." Hanson's sister, Mary E. Tiebout, is a 1975 Middlebury graduate.

James Gustave Speth oversees Yale University's graduate and professional school of the environment, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where his title is Dean and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy.  He will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Speth is the former administrator of the United Nations Development Program; the founder and former president of World Resources Institute, a center for policy research; and a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is the father of Catherine McCullough, a member of the Middlebury College class of 1991.

The 15th president of Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Marc A. vanderHeyden, and his wife, Dana Lim vanderHeyden, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. Marc vanderHeyden assumed the presidency at St. Michael's in 1996 and announced last year that he would step down from the position in June of 2007.  Prior to his arrival at St. Michael's, he held various academic and administrative posts at Marist College, Cedar Crest College and Rider University. A native of Belgium who is fluent in three languages, he holds master's and doctoral degrees in history from The Catholic University of America. 

Dana vanderHeyden, who served in various roles as a faculty member and academic administrator for almost three decades, first at Cedar Crest College and then at Dutchess Community College, is an active community member and supporter of the arts both at St. Michael's and in Vermont. She has served on the board of directors of numerous organizations, and is currently a member of the board of Vermont Public Radio, Burlington City Arts and the Region I Board of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.  A native of Prague, she is also fluent in three languages.

Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree, is a professor in the Baylor College of Medicine Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Neurology and Neuroscience, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Center.  In 1999 she discovered the gene mutation that causes the rare, disabling neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome.  She is the mother of Roula Zoghbi, a member of the Middlebury College class of 2007.