Words of Wisdom

Our colleges’ commencement speakers



More than 20 post-secondary schools call Westchester home. Here are some of the heavy hitters who delivered last lectures to this year’s graduating classes.

Berkeley College, White Plains Campus
Speaker: Ruben Diaz, Jr. The Bronx borough president also has served in the New York State Assembly as chair of the Committee on Election Law and on the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force. At the age of 23, he was youngest person elected to the Assembly since Theodore Roosevelt in 1881.

Cochran School of Nursing
Speaker: Kathleen Dirschel, MD. Dr. Dirschel is the executive vice president and chief nursing officer at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

Manhattanville College
Speaker: Beatrice Wilkinson Welters, ’74. A Manhattanville alumna, Welters is the current U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago. She is also founder and chairman of the AnBryce Foundation and the Vincent Wilkinson Foundation, both of which aid underprivileged youth.

New York Medical College
Speaker: Darrell G. Kirch, MD. Dr. Kirch is the current president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, an organization representing the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals. He previously served as dean of the Medical School at University of Georgia and as acting scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Purchase College
Speaker: Alfredo Jaar. Jaar is a Chilean artist and filmmaker whose work attacks oppressive politics and the social impact of war. Both a Guggenheim and MacArthur fellow, Jaar has hosted individual exhibitions at the Musée des Beaux Arts and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. His best-known piece, however, is the critically acclaimed documentary Project Rwanda.

Sarah Lawrence College
Speaker: Arianna Huffington. Huffington is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, a content-aggregating news site, as well as a nationally syndicated columnist and author of 13 books. Time placed her in its list of the world’s 100 most influential people, and the Financial Times included her in its list of 50 people who shaped the last decade.

Westchester Community College
Speaker: Joseph Hankin. As President of WCC, Hankin has bid farewell to more than 40 graduating classes since he assumed the post in 1971.

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