Scripps announces commencement keynote speaker

A woman wearing a red jacket sits on a desk.
EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock will speak at Scripps’ 2020 commencement. (Courtesy: John Shinkle of POLITICO)

Stephanie Schriock, the president of a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice women to office, will deliver Scripps’ 2020 commencement address May 16. 

Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List, was chosen by student volunteers to be the class of 2020’s keynote speaker, the college announced Feb. 11 in a press release. 

Schriock was named one of the “10 Most Powerful Women in Washington” by ELLE magazine in 2015 and was listed as one of Time Magazine’s “40 under 40” in 2010. She became the president of EMILY’s List in 2010.

EMILY’s List’s mission is “to elect pro-choice, Democratic women,” Schriock told New York Magazine

EMILY’s List, whose name stands for “Early Money is Like Yeast,” is a national political action committee that says that it has raised $600 million and helped elect over 1,200 women in its 35-year history. 

Maddie Warman SC ’20, the senior class co-president, who led the selection process, stressed the importance of the organization’s “current political relevance and importance,” according to an email sent from college President Lara Tiedens to the student body Feb. 18. 

“[EMILY’s List is] not helping to elect only a certain kind of candidate,” Warman, according to Tiedens’ email. “They’re casting a wide net to bring as much diversity as possible into politics, and that was really important to the committee.” 

The Commencement Speaker Committee, comprised of student volunteers, chose Schriock after evaluating potential speakers from surveys and polls, according to Tiedens’ email. 

Schriock was “one of the most highly rated candidates by the class of 2020,” Warman said in an interview with TSL. 

Her leadership of EMILY’s List has helped make the organization a political powerhouse.

Schriock has “quintupled the organization’s membership and helped elect more than 100 congresswomen, 19 senators … , 10 governors and hundreds of state and local officials,” and has “helped raise more than [$250 million] for the organization,” according to The Guardian.

SAS President Niyati Narang SC ’20 connected the college with Schriock following an internship with EMILY’s List in Washington, D.C. in spring 2019. 

Narang sought out this connection not only because of Schriock’s leadership of EMILY’s List, but also “because of her ethos of innovation to increase accessibility to politics.”

“I think that mission is something Scripps students would resonate with immensely,” Narang said in an interview with TSL.

A Montana native, Schriock attended Minnesota State University and received her master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, according to Minnesota State University’s TODAY Magazine.

She began her career in politics as campaign adviser to Mary Readers, a congressional candidate from Minnesota, and went on to serve as chief of staff for Sen. Jon Tester and campaign manager for Tester and former Sen. Al Franken, according to the Guardian. 

This article was last updated Feb. 23 at 11:23 a.m.

This article was updated Feb 21 at 12:41 a.m.

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