World renowned environmental scholar and activist Bill McKibben will deliver the Commencement address at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20 in Monterey.
McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, considered the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
McKibben joined Middlebury College in 2001 as scholar in residence in environmental studies, and in 2010 he was named Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at the College. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”
A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern.
McKibben will address Middlebury Institute graduates at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 on Colton Hall Lawn, 570 Pacific Street in downtown Monterey.