Mac chooses Emanuel and Bowler for 2022 commencement


Ezekiel Emanuel. Photo courtesy of Communications.

Kamini Ramakrishna, News Editor

Macalester senior administration has chosen Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel as the keynote speaker for the Class of 2022 Commencement. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and is the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. As a member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, Emanuel has helped guide the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emanuel is also the brother of Macalester alum Ari Emanuel ‘83, which reflects Macalester’s tendency to seek commencement speakers who have some connection to the college.

“We wanted to select someone who could talk meaningfully about the moment we find ourselves in right now, as we gather for the first full commencement ceremony since the start of the pandemic,” President Suzanne Rivera wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

Rivera emphasized the importance of having a commencement speaker who has directly dealt with the country’s navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that has greatly impacted life at Macalester during the past two years.

“His practical and scholarly expertise and his willingness to wrestle with thorny issues of critical importance to the U.S. and the world make his perspective extremely relevant,” Rivera wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly from communications.

In addition to a traditional graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022, Macalester is also holding a celebration for the classes of 2020 and 2021, who were not able to have an in-person commencement ceremony due to COVID-19. Dr. Kate Bowler ‘02 has been chosen as the keynote speaker for this event. Bowler is a New York Times bestselling author and a professor at Duke Divinity School.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer in-person opportunities for our students and their loved ones to celebrate the achievements of our graduates,” Rivera wrote. “It will be especially poignant to gather for this happy reason after two years of isolation and losses.”

Macalester’s Class of 2022 Commencement will be held on May 14 in the Macalester Stadium. The celebration event for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 will be held on May 15.

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