David Remnick, award-winning author and editor of The New Yorker, will deliver the 2016 Commencement Address at Claremont McKenna College. The school announced its decision on Feb. 17.
Among his many accomplishments, Remnick won both a Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for his 1993 book, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire. He has been the editor of The New Yorker since 1998 and a staff writer since 1992. Before then, Remnick was a reporter for The Washington Post for 10 years.
In CMC’s official online announcement of the selection, President Hiram Chodosh called Remnick “one of the leading literary figures of our time… he combines brave honesty, sharp wit, and polished humor to lead us deeper into the human condition.”
For Senior Class President Kathryn Chakmak CM ’16, Remnick “stands out” from previous CMC commencement speakers which, over the past five years, have included two founders of private investment firms, a government official, the founder of a consulting company, and most recently, an Iranian writer.
“I am eager to hear what he will have to say to our graduating class,” Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College President Will Su CM ’16 wrote in an email to TSL, echoing the sentiments of Chakmak, who believed that the senior class was “really excited” to have Remnick impart some of his wisdom at graduation.
“I think the commencement speaker symbolizes a great point in the culmination of our academic journey at CMC, and I feel that the speaker's role is to impart words of wisdom to our class,” Su wrote. “The speaker's message serves to kickstart our transition into our post-graduate lives.”
In October 2015, Remnick launched The New Yorker’s weekly radio show, Radio Hour, which airs every Friday at 3 p.m. PST. On the show, Remnick interviews writers, musicians, and critics, posing thought-provoking questions and engaging in relevant conversations about contentious topics including culture, race, and religion.
The 2016 commencement ceremony will be held on May 14. Robert Day Scholar Varun Puri CM '16 will be the Senior Class Speaker.