I know a lot of (most?) people don’t actually pay attention to the sidebars, so I wanted to call this one to your attention.

Today the college announced the 2009 Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients.  You can read the whole thing for the long background, but here is the quick and dirty version:

Clarence Otis ’77 – chairman and chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants – will be the principal speaker at the college’s 220th Commencement exercises on Sunday, June 7.  Anne Garrels – senior foreign correspondent of National Public Radio – will be the Baccalaureate speaker on Saturday, June 6.

President of the College Morton Owen Schapiro will confer honorary degrees on both of them as well as to astronaut and Senator John H. Glenn, writer Tracy Kidder, historian James M. McPherson, and musician James Taylor.

Quite the eclectic group this year:  businessman, journalist, astronaut, author, professor/scholar, and musician.  Should be a fun group.  Hopefully there are other side events where the honorary degree recipients can speak/perform.  Having James Taylor join in the Ivy Exercises singing of The Mountains would be pretty cool.

In various committee/meet the alumni settings I had the good fortune to meet Otis a handful of times.  He seemed like a great guy.  I hope he’ll give an interesting speech – commencement addresses are a notoriously difficult balance.

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