Chikuhwa to speak at commencement

By Daniel Kerwin

On Tuesday Macalester announced that alumus Tonderai Chikuhwa ’96 will be the speaker at commencement on May 16. Chikuhwa is currently the senior program officer at the United Nations Office for Children and Armed Conflict. He advocates for children who are victims of child rights violations and atrocities in war torn areas such as Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka and Colombia.

Chikuhwa has worked at the United Nations since 1999. He spent his early years working in the field as a child protection advisor in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia where he helped to liberate nearly 3000 children who were conscripted into armed forces or rebel armies.

Chikuhwa was born in the former Soviet Union in 1972 to a Zimbabwean father and a Ukrainian mother. He grew up in Sweden and Swaziland before coming to Macalester where he majored in international studies and political science. He was last on campus in the fall of 2006 when he was a guest speaker at the International Roundtable focusing on the future of the U.N.

Each year potential speakers are considered through many different avenues consisting most often of members of senior staff in consultation with others, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Laurie Hamre. However, the ultimate decision for the speaker rests with President Brian Rosenberg.

Rosenberg commended Chikuhwa for implementing values espoused by Macalester in his daily work.

“We are delighted he has accepted our invitation to speak to our 2009 graduates, who are the next generation of global citizens and leaders,” Rosenberg said.