The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Paul Farmer selected as Commencement speaker

Partners in Health co-founder Paul Farmer will deliver this year’s commencement speech.

Farmer, a physician and medical anthropologist, is regarded as an expert in global public health. Partners in Health is a nonprofit organization which has worked extensively in Haiti and is committed to providing high-quality medical care to poor and marginalized communities worldwide.

Farmer also serves as the chair of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Special Adviser to the U.N. Secretary-General on Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti.

Farmer has written extensively on public health and social inequality issues. His most recent book, To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation, is an anthology of his speeches that encourages readers to work for justice and health equity.

A committee of students, faculty and staff met two years ago to consider potential commencement speakers, and Farmer was among the speakers suggested.

The selection of Farmer aligns with the college’s increased focus on public health issues, Acting President Kathy Murray wrote in an email. This shift is evidenced by the theme of this year’s International Roundtable, Global Health, and this year’s MacReads book,Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, which tells the story of Farmer’s health work worldwide.

According to Vice President of Student Affairs, Laurie Hamre, Farmer was the featured speaker at convocation four years ago, when the graduating seniors were first-years, so having Farmer speak at their closing commencement brings their time at Macalester full-circle.

“Paul Farmer and Macalester have a lot in common when it comes to caring about public health,” Murray said in a statement. “In 2008, the college added the Community and Global Health concentration, which naturally blends the liberal arts and public health. In 2010, we invited Paul to be the opening convocation speaker when these graduating seniors were first-year students. The class of 2014 will end their time at Macalester as they started it — listening to Paul Farmer speak at their commencement this coming May.”

A student speaker will be chosen for commencement in late March.

Commencement will be held on May 17, 2014.

View Comments (7)
More to Discover

Comments (7)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • L

    Luke SlaterSep 11, 2019 at 1:38 am

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of details that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  • S

    Stephen TurnerSep 8, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Thx for your post. I would really like to comment that the price of car insurance differs a lot from one coverage to another, due to the fact there are so many different issues which give rise to the overall cost. For example, the model and make of the car or truck will have a massive bearing on the price tag. A reliable ancient family automobile will have a more economical premium than just a flashy racecar.