This year's keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement who, as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was one of the "Big Six" leaders of groups to organize the 1963 March on Washington. Lewis will receive an honorary doctor of public service.
Social change and children's books were themes that ran through the 227th commencement exercises at Williams College.
The college graduated 538 undergraduates in a ceremony threatened by heavy rain Sunday morning but conducted on the college's West Lawn with only a minor sprinkle to detract from the speakers.
Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, will be the principal speaker at Williams College's 227th Commencement Exercise on Sunday, June 5.
The day before, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and science journalist Elizabeth Kolbert will be the baccalaureate speaker. Both will receive honorary degrees at commencement, as will Sarah Bolton, current dean of the college at Williams and president-elect of The College of Wooster; author and illustrator Eric Carle; writer and commentator
State Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 56th Commencement Exercises to be held June 3 at Tanglewood in Lenox.
Downing was first elected in 2006 at the age of 24. During his decade of service, Downing, who recently announced that he will not seek a sixth term, has represented 52 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District, the largest Senate district in the commonwealth.
Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, will address graduates at the 47th commencement ceremony of Bard College at Simon's Rock, The Early College, on Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m.
The ceremony is free and open to the public; priority seating given to the families of graduates.