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Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former president of Discovery Communications Judith A. McHale will deliver the commencement address at Colby’s 189th Commencement Sunday, May 23. Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. on the lawn of Miller Library on Colby’s campus in Waterville.

McHale will share the stage with senior class speaker Steven A. Tatko, a self-described fifth-generation slate miner from Piscataquis County, Maine. Tatko, elected by members of the graduating class to address the convocation, is a dean’s list history major from Willimantic, Maine. He was captain of the school’s woodsmen’s team, won the Colby Chorale Prize, and will go to work with on the North Woods Project for the Natural Resources Council of Maine after graduation.

Brian P. DiMento of Rowley, Mass., class marshal for having the highest grade-point average, will lead the class of 479 members of the Class of 2010 expected to march. DiMento majored in chemistry with a concentration in environmental science and will enroll at the University of Connecticut doctoral program in environmental chemistry in the fall.

In addition to McHale, four others will receive honorary Colby doctoral degrees: Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University; Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes; and Professor Josh Silver of Oxford University, director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World.

The ceremony is open to the public. In the case of rain it 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 at

McHale, who grew up in apartheid-era South Africa and Britain as the daughter of a U.S. foreign service officer, was appointed by President Barack Obama to help lead America’s engagement with the people of the world. Her career has been devoted to building companies and nonprofit organizations that reach out to and connect people globally. Her background is particularly relevant at Colby, a national leader in its commitment to internationalism. Twenty-nine countries will be represented by members of the graduating class.

More information about commencement and about Undersecretary McHale are on Colby’s commencement website. Representatives of the media who need information or wish to arrange an audio feed during the ceremony should contact Stephen Collins in the Office of Communications, or 207-859-4352.