Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist Eugene Robinson,

Marist Scholar-in-Residence Bro. Sean Sammon to Speak

at 71st Commencement Ceremonies

Robinson to address traditional undergraduates, receive honorary degree on May 20; Sammon to speak to graduate and adult degree recipients, be awarded alumni medal on May 19

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.  – Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with The Washington Post, will deliver the address at Marist College’s 71st Commencement on Saturday, May 20 and will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Brother Sean Sammon, FMS, '70, a Marist Trustee and the College's Scholar-in-Residence and former Superior General of the Marist Brothers, will speak to graduate and adult degree recipients and their friends and family at a separate ceremony on Friday, May 19 and be awarded the Marist College Distinguished Alumni Medal. 

President David Yellen will confer approximately 1,203 undergraduate degrees during Saturday's ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on the Campus Green beginning at 11 a.m. Approximately 10,000 family members and friends are expected on campus to celebrate the occasion. On Friday evening, President Yellen will confer approximately 367 graduate and 91 adult undergraduate degrees before an anticipated audience of 2,000 family members and friends during a ceremony starting at 6 p.m., also on the Campus Green.

The College’s 2017 Commencement ceremonies mark the first under the tenure of President Yellen, who took office in July of last year.

Eugene Robinson’s journalism career at The Post included stints as a reporter and editor on a variety of local, national, and international beats before he launched his twice-weekly column on politics and culture in 2005.Eugene Robinson

He also holds the title of Associate Editor at The Post. Through his reporting and his columns, Robinson has established himself as one of the most thoughtful writers on politics, race, and culture.

In 2009, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, with the Pulitzer Committee citing “his eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.”

Brother Sean Sammon is a leader, scholar, and public intellectual.  From 2001-09, he served as Superior General of the Marist Brothers, and before that, as Vicar General, overseeing the work of more than 4,000 Brothers in 79 countries around the world. 

As worldwide leader of the Marist Brothers, he encouraged the order to take a more global and multicultural view of its mission and helped expand the Brothers' reach by establishing a relationship with the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

Brother Sean has also been a senior leader in the wider Catholic Church.  He was the only Brother to be a member of the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which advises the Pope and makes policy decisions for religious orders worldwide. 


     For more information on Marist College's 71st Commencement Exercises on May 19 & 20, 2017, please click here

More About Eugene Robinson

Eugene Robinson writes a twice-weekly column on politics and culture, contributes to the PostPartisan blog, and hosts a weekly online chat with readers. In a three-decade career at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s Style section. He started writing a column for the Op-Ed page in 2005. He is a 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary. Robinson is the author of Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America (2010), Last Dance in Havana (2004), and Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race (1999). He lives with his wife and two sons in Virginia.

More About Bro. Sean Sammon

Bro. Sean Sammon has also served as president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men Religious, the representative body of the leadership of male religious institutes, monastic communities, and societies of apostolic life in the U.S.  Brother Sean lectures widely to groups here and abroad and has published 10 books and numerous articles on topics ranging from the interface between psychology and spirituality to the renewal of religious life since the Second Vatican Council.

Bro. Sean SammonIn addition to a B.A. in psychology from Marist, Brother Sean holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fordham University and was awarded the title of Doctor honoris causa from the Catholic Pontifical University of Parana, Brazil.  His service to church and society has been recognized with the St. Edmund's Medal of Honor, and in 2012, he was the first recipient of the Marist College Alumni Association's Dr. Linus Richard Foy Outstanding Alumnus Award.

About Marist College

Located on the river in the historic Hudson River Valley and at its Florence, Italy branch campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures & The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Though now independent, Marist remains committed to the ideals handed down from its founders, the Marist Brothers: excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service. Marist educates approximately 4,900 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.

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