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Skidmore College

Commencement speakers announced

March 7, 2018
Alison Bechdel, Robert Higgins, Christopher Mann
Alison Bechdel, left, Robert Higgins, and Christopher Mann

Skidmore College will bestow honorary degrees upon Alison Bechdel and Robert S.D. Higgins during the college's 107th Commencement Exercises this May. 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 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.

"We are pleased to welcome Alison Bechdel and Robert Higgins as speakers at Skidmore College's 107th Commencement Exercises this spring, and we are very proud to confer honorary degrees upon these two very deserving recipients," said Philip A. Glotzbach, Skidmore College president. "Dr. Higgins and Ms. Bechdel are highly accomplished individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence and have integrated the philosophy of creative thought into their professional endeavors throughout their very unique and exceptional careers."

Following a Skidmore tradition, a faculty member selected by the graduates will speak as well. Christopher Mann, assistant professor of political science, has been chosen for this distinct honor by the Class of 2018. 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.
Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 19, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

For more information about Commencement and this year's program visit the website here.

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