Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
I am pleased to announce Skidmore's 107th Commencement Exercises to be held on Saturday, May 19, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. We are very proud to announce that at this year's Commencement ceremony, Skidmore will confer honorary degrees upon two extraordinary individuals:
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.
Following a Skidmore tradition, a faculty member selected by the graduates will speak as well. I am pleased to announce that Christopher B. Mann, assistant professor of political science, has been chosen for this distinct honor. 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.