2018 Commencement Speakers
Skidmore College will bestow honorary degrees upon Alison Bechdel and Robert S. D. Higgins during the College’s 107th Commencement Exercises. Additionally, Christopher B. Mann, assistant professor of political science, has been selected as the 2018 faculty Commencement speaker.
Alison Bechdel is an acclaimed author, cartoonist, MacArthur fellow and Tony Award winner who has been widely recognized for her outstanding contributions to the comic art form.
Bechdel came to critical and commercial success in 2006 with her New York Times best-selling memoir Fun Home, which was adapted for Broadway, and is now a highly successful award-winning musical appearing in New York City, London, and locally, at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady.
Robert S. D. Higgins is the Johns Hopkins Hospital's surgeon-in-chief, the William Stewart Halsted Professor of Surgery and the director of the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Higgins is a world-renowned authority in the field of heart and lung transplantation and in coronary artery bypass surgery. His scientific interests include the mechanisms of cell injury in failing hearts, health economics and policy, racial disparities in post-transplant outcomes, access to care and improving outcomes among heart failure and cardiac surgery patients.
Christopher B. Mann's academic research focuses on aspects of elections, campaigns and voting, and his courses include Campaigns and Elections, Politics and News Media, and Election Research, among others.
In addition to his work at Skidmore, Mann serves as Advisory Board member at the MIT Election Data and Science Laboratory.