John Kerry Announced as 2014 Commencement Speaker

Boston College has announced that Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver the 138th commencement address on Monday, May 19.

A Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, Kerry has served as the nation’s top diplomat since February 2013, when he was appointed by President Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary Hilary Clinton. Kerry was the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential candidate, losing to President George W. Bush by 35 electoral votes.

As Secretary of State, Kerry has traveled throughout the world, including Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Syria. He has brokered peace talks between the two sides in the Israeli-Palesitnian conflict and has also worked on the removal of chemical weapons form Syria.

Kerry will return to Boston College, where he earned his J.D. in 1976 after previously attending Yale University. Prior to attending Boston College Law School Kerry enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves, serving in Vietnam where he was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, and a Bronze Star.

After returning home, Kerry became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, testifying before the United States Congress and serving as the spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. After being elected as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1982, Kerry won a hard fought Democratic primary and subsequent election to the U.S. Senate in 1984, eventually chairing the Committee on Foreign Relations for four years.

Kerry will be presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws by University President William P. Leahy, SJ at the commencement. Boston Celtics basketball legend Bob Cousy, nursing professional Ann Riley Finck '66, CEO of Urban Health Plan Inc., Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez ’76, and University Trustee Robert Morrissey ’60 will also receive honorary degrees.

The 138th Commencement of Boston College will take place Monday, May 19 at 10 a.m. in Alumni Stadium. Over 4,000 Boston College students will receive their undergraduate and graduate degrees at their respective ceremonies throughout the day.

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