Poet laureate, Law School dean are 2016 graduation speakers

Rita Dove, Paul Mahoney will address students this spring


According to a press release from the University, more than $3 million has been earmarked to improve access, affordability, quality and increased degrees at the University.

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

Former Poet Laureate Rita Dove and Law School Dean Paul Mahoney will address the Class of 2016 over Finals Weekend, the University announced Thursday.

Dove, a Commonwealth Professor in the English department, will speak to graduates of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences May 21. Mahoney will address the graduates of the new Data Science Institute and the University’s 10 other schools on May 22.

Rita Dove served as poet laureate from 1993 to 1995, and has received prestigious awards such as the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the 1996 National Humanities Medal given by former President Bill Clinton and the 2011 National Medal of Arts awarded by President Barack Obama. No other poet has received both presidential medals before.

Mahoney has served as the dean of the Law School since 2008, and as academic associate dean from 1999 to 2004 after joining the faculty in 1990. He has received the All-University Teaching Award and the Law School’s Traynor Award for excellence in faculty scholarship.

University President Teresa Sullivan praised the achievements of both speakers. “Rita Dove is broadly recognized as one of our nation’s great poets,” Sullivan said in a press release announcing the decision. “In addition to Paul Mahoney’s service as dean of the Law School, he is a prominent expert in securities regulation, corporate finance, and law and economics.”

In addition to Dove and Mahoney, a valedictory speaker, yet to be determined, will address the entire Class of 2016 on May 20.

This year’s Finals Weekend will mark the second year of the new setup, with students processing across two days.

Read this article translated into Chinese here

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