April 5, 2007

Convocation Speaker Confirmed

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CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien will be this year’s Convocation speaker, multiple sources have confirmed with The Sun.
O’Brien has anchored CNN’s flagship morning program American Morning since July 2003, along with co-anchor Miles O’Brien (no relation). Prior to joining CNN, she anchored NBC News’ Weekend Today beginning in July 1999, where she covered stories such as John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane crash and school shootings in Colorado and Oregon.
As anchor for CNN, O’Brien reported on the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and the London terrorism attacks in July 2005. In fall 2004, she anchored coverage of the burial of Yasser Arafat and later that year traveled to Southeast Asia to cover the tsunami disaster.
CNN’s Hurricane Katrina coverage earned a George Foster Peabody award, and its tsunami coverage earned an Alfred I. duPont award. This year, the NAACP gave O’Brien its President’s Award. In 2001, People Magazine named O’Brien one of its “50 Most Beautiful” people of the year. In 2006, O’Brien was given the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award from the National Association of Minorities in Cable.
She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University.
Senior Convocation will be at noon on May 26, the weekend of Commencement, and will take place in Schoellkopf Stadium. In addition to O’Brien’s address, Cornell President David J. Skorton and Edvard Gumbs ’07, senior class president, will speak at Convocation. The event is open to graduating students and their families only. The Class of 2007 will also present its class gift to the University at the event.
The Convocation Committee will be officially announcing the speaker today at 4:45 p.m. in a Student Assembly meeting in the Straight Memorial Hall.
Previous Convocation speakers included Martin Luther King III, Gen. Wesley Clark and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.