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Fisher to Celebrate 59th Commencement; Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Author David McCullough to Give Keynote Address


Fisher to Celebrate 59th Commencement; Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Author David McCullough to Give Keynote Address

St. John Fisher College will graduate over 1,100 students at its 59th Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2013. There will be two ceremonies, one at 9:30 a.m. for over 700 undergraduates, and the second at 2:00 p.m. for over 400 master’s and doctoral students. Both ceremonies will take place at the Blue Cross Arena, One War Memorial Drive, in Rochester.

The keynote speaker at the morning ceremony will be Pulitzer-prize-winning author, David McCullough. The College will also bestow an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws upon McCullough during the ceremony.

McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” and “a matchless writer.” He has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award twice, and has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

His most recent book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, the number one New York Times best seller, has been called “dazzling,” “an epic of ideas … history to be savored.” His previous work, 1776, has been acclaimed “a classic,” while John Adams, published in 2001, remains one of the most praised and widely read American biographies of all time. More than three million copies are in print, and it is presently in its 82nd printing.

McCullough’s other books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions, and Truman. His work has been translated and published in 15 countries around the world, and, in all, more than 10,000,000 copies are in print.

He has also been a two-time recipient of the prestigious Francis Parkman Prize, and for his work overall, he has been honored by the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award and the National Humanities Medal. Additionally, he has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has received 47 honorary degrees.

Throughout his career, McCullough has also been an editor; essayist; teacher; lecturer; and familiar presence on public television, as host of “Smithsonian World” and “The American Experience” and narrator of numerous documentaries, including Ken Burns’ “The Civil War.” He was also the narrator in the movie “Seabiscuit.”

“John Adams,” the seven-part mini-series on HBO, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, was one of the most acclaimed and talked about television events of recent years.

A gifted speaker, McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. Additionally, he is one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.

McCullough graduated from Yale with honors in English literature. He is an avid reader, traveler, painter, and has enjoyed a lifelong interest in art and architecture. McCullough and his wife, Rosalee Barnes McCullough, have five children and nineteen grandchildren.

The keynote speaker for the afternoon ceremony will be Dr. Michael Wischnowski, Interim Dean of the College’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education.

Dr. Donald Bain, President, will present the President’s Medal for Service to the Rochester Community to Sister Christine Wagner, SSJ, Executive Director of the St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, at the morning ceremony. In addition, he will present an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to outgoing Board Chair Michael Goonan. During the afternoon ceremony, he will present Mr. Walter Parkes, Chairman of the Board, O’Connell Electric, with the President’s Medal for Service to St. John Fisher College and the Rochester Community.

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