Posted on Jun 17, 2002

Click here for more about Commencement 2002 (including full text of speeches)

Pipers lead grads to Commencement

The rain came,
but not before more than 600 students received degrees in the Class of 2002 at
Union College's Commencement exercises on June 16 in Library Plaza.

Jeff Greenfield,
political analyst, author, and national news anchor, urged the graduates to make a difference by connecting with other people.

“If you turn off the TV and the CD and the VCR and the PC and the DVD and the DSL and you find these links to other people … you'll make a river cleaner, a neighborhood safer, a family stronger, a town more prosperous,” said Greenfield, who received on honorary doctor of laws degree. “On these stages great and small you will make the world a little better and you will make your lives incomparably richer.”

Greenfield, host of CNN's Greenfield At Large, is
also CNN's senior analyst for Inside Politics, the nation's first
program devoted exclusively to politics. In 2000, he was a host of the
network's nightly special election program during the 37 days of the Florida
recount, an experience from which he penned the book, Oh Waiter! One Order of

Leah Nero, of Brattleboro, Vt., gave the student address in which she described the changes that take place over a four-year college career.

President Roger Hull, in his charge to the graduates, said “I am particularly proud of those of you who have chosen to put on hold the start of your careers to contribute immediately to the society that you are now rejoining.”

Farhan Javed Khawaja of Vero Beach, Fla., and Jessica Erin
Cook of Milford, Conn., were valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. The College
awarded 507 bachelor's degrees and 136 master's degrees.