March 6, 2009

Commencement Speaker Announced!

This year's Commencement speaker will be the president of Doctors Without Borders USA, Dr. Matthew C. Spitzer.

Here is Dr. Spitzer's bio:
"Dr. Matthew Spitzer was elected as the President of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA Board of Directors in June 2008. Dr. Spitzer joined in 1999, working to establish primary care services and a medical training program in southwestern China. He has also worked as a field coordinator with MSF in Sierra Leone and with MSF-USA in New York to look at the potential medical needs of detained asylum-seekers in the US. Most recently, Dr. Spitzer was on assignment for MSF in Cambodia, where he coordinated MSF’s response to an outbreak of dengue. Based in San Francisco, Dr. Spitzer is a family doctor who has worked at the St. Anthony Free Clinic and its drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, at San Quentin State Prison’s trauma/treatment area and outpatient housing unit, and teaches in the case-based curriculum of UC-Berkeley’s Joint Medical Program.

Before becoming Board President in June 2008, Dr. Spitzer served on the Board of Directors of MSF-USA from June of 2006. He graduated from Yale with Distinction in Philosophy, and obtained his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1995. Dr. Spitzer’s additional studies have included the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Medical Acupuncture with the UCLA/Helms Medical Institute."


Anonymous said...


dude the misc has had this on their site for days. nice try though

Anonymous said...

why doesn't vassar get "bigger" people to speak. william and mary got tom brokaw.

a.g. said...

Of the last several years of speeches I've heard, the best by far was given by the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA in 2006. Just because someone doesn't have a "big" title doesn't mean you should be disappointed (and since when is being the director of Amnesty International or the president of MSF not a big deal? you'll probably end up hearing something with substance, rather than a reading of 'Oh The Places You'll Go').

Also, it's a recession. Big names cost big bucks.

Mina said...

the 2006 speech was AMAZING. i was on the daisy chain that year and i was so so happy to hear the speech. and randy cohen's speech for my commencement last year was very funny and thought provoking. vassar may not get HUGE names every year, but they get damn good public speakers, and that matters more to me than having someone super famous whose speech might be boring.

LauraJ said...

The speech in 2006 by Bill Schulz of Amnesty International USA/ and the Unitarian Universalist Association was spiritual, political, activist-inspired, funny, and compassionately kind. What else could you ask for?? Certainly not more of the recent trend of Hollywood actors, like Samuel Jackson and Tom Hanks. Having enough money to pay the full boat on tuition for your kids does not mean that you have anything to say.