Researcher to be featured as commencement speaker

by John Jacobsen

Although unknown to many students at Simpson, Dr. Raymond Greenberg will give seniors their final instructions on their new life challenges as this year’s commencement speaker.

“Dr. Greenberg is one of the foremost in the field of cancer research,” said President R. Kevin LaGree. “It is important to have a scientist as speaker.”

With previous commencement speakers from other disciplines Dr. Greenberg will give Simpson students a different perspective.

Greenberg is the founder of Emory University’s College of Public Health. LaGree met Greenberg during his time as the Dean for Emory’s College of Theology.

With over 150 books published and a wealth of knowledge and experiences, Greenberg will have a wealth of knowledge to share with seniors during graduation.

As the founding Dean of Emory’s College of Public Health, Greenberg knows that uneasy feeling that many seniors will experience as they leave the world of academia to charter unknown territory.

LaGree stressed the importance of inviting someone of Greenberg’s stature to speak at commencement.

“Graduation and the commencement speaker celebrate academic life at Simpson College,” said President R. Kevin LaGree.

The process of arranging for a commencement speaker is of the utmost importance to LaGree who has put considerable time into arranging for Greenberg to speak.

“Last year I put together a committee with the freshman through senior class presidents and members of the faculty to brainstorm names for the commencement speaker,” said LaGree.

This committee does not resolve LaGree of many months of work on this issue.

“You have to start planning more than a year in advance. I will start working shortly on who will be the commencement speaker for next years graduation,” LaGree said.

With money tight in all areas of life, graduation is no different.

“We have a very small budget to work with,” said LaGree, adding that this is not necessarily particular to this year alone. “We tend to rely on friendships that we have since budgeting for a speaker can cost you anywhere from $10 to 50,000.”

For some students it is more about the meaning of graduation than the money.

“The quality of the speaker should not be affected by how much it costs to get them to speak at your school,” said Collins.

“Money has no impact on the credentials of a commencement speaker” said senior Jared Harmon. “Honesty and sincerity have no price tag.”