Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan announced today that President Bill Clinton, the founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States, will deliver this year’s Commencement Address at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Sunday, May 14.
“We are honored to welcome President Clinton back to Hobart and William Smith as the 2017 Commencement speaker,” said Gearan. “President Clinton’s leadership has transformed millions of lives around the world, from his time as Arkansas attorney general and then governor, to two terms in the White House, and now with the charitable work of his foundation. I look forward to hearing the insight and guidance he has to offer our graduating seniors.”
Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest peacetime economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.
After leaving the White House, President Clinton founded the Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods and reduce health disparities, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results.
Today the Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative which is helping 5 million people living with HIV/AIDS access lifesaving drugs. The Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Development Initiative and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership are applying a business-oriented approach to fight climate change worldwide and to promote sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America. In the U.S., the Foundation is working to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity and preventable disease through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. From 2005 through 2016, the Clinton Global Initiative brought together global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. CGI’s nearly 3,600 Commitments to Action to date have improved the lives of more than 435 million people in 180 nations.
In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has joined with former President George H.W. Bush three times – after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008, and with President George W. Bush in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
President Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. He and his wife, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, have one daughter, Chelsea, and two grandchildren, Charlotte and Aidan. They live in Chappaqua, New York.
The ceremony, which marks the 106th graduation for William Smith and the 192nd graduation for Hobart, is on Sunday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m. on the Hobart Quad (rain location: Robert A. Bristol ’31 Field House).