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Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post website boldly led the way into the digital media age, will deliver the address at Colby College’s 195th Commencement on Sunday, May 22. She will be awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree at the ceremony.
Cofounder of the namesake news site, Huffington closely oversees what has become the model for digital delivery of global news and information and that after a decade still far outpaces competitors. With Huffington as editor-in-chief, the site’s editorial mandate is “unfathomably broad and constantly expanding,” wrote the New York Times last year.
“Arianna Huffington embodies the impact individuals can make when they combine great ideas with passion, hard work, and the willingness to take some risk,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “These are qualities we instill in our students at Colby, and I am thrilled that our graduates will have the opportunity to hear from such an innovative leader as they prepare to make their own impact beyond our campus.”
In addition to supervising an international Pulitzer Prize-winning digital news outlet, Huffington is a commentator, columnist, actor, and prolific author. An omnivorous intellect, she has interests that range from American politics to economic theory, and much of her writing has focused on adapting to and overcoming 21st-century challenges. Her most recent books include the upcoming The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time and Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, which debuted at the top of the Times bestseller list.
A native of Greece, Huffington arrived in London at 16 and went on to earn her master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge. As president and editor-in-chief at the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, she has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and Forbes magazine’s list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She serves on the boards of several nonprofits including the Center for Public Integrity, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and A Place Called Home, which helps at-risk children in South Central Los Angeles.
“Arianna Huffington’s distinguished and wide-ranging career, her interest in diverse topics of great importance to so many, and her dedication to service will all contribute to her powerful message at commencement,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “We very much look forward to welcoming her to campus.”
Members of the Class of 2016, who number approximately 500, came to Colby from 31 states and 31 countries. Two thirds of the class studied abroad. The majority of graduates have completed internships and significant scholarly research, and they will go on to a broad range of careers and to graduate or professional schools to study law, education, finance, medicine, nonprofit leadership, and much more.
The commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the lawn of Miller Library, weather permitting. It is open to the public. If it rains the ceremony will be moved to the Alfond Athletic Center, in which case tickets will be required for admission to the gymnasium. For those unable to attend, a live webcast will be available on Colby’s website.
Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby offers a rigorous academic program rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 56 majors or developing their own. Independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and internships offer robust opportunities to prepare students for postgraduate success. Colby is home to a community of 1,850 dedicated and diverse students from around the globe. Its Maine location provides easy access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.