Former President Bill Clinton will deliver the Class Day address to the Harvard Class of 2007, the Senior Class Committee announced today (March 29).
“President Clinton is one of the great leaders of our time. He is a charismatic speaker with a unique view of today’s complex and ever-changing world, and his accomplishments both as a public servant and philanthropist need no introduction,” said First Class Marshal Chrix E. Finne ’07. “We are honored and elated to have the opportunity to hear from President Clinton, and we look forward to welcoming him to Cambridge.”
An intimate occasion for the Senior Class to reflect on the eve of Commencement, the Class Day exercises will be on June 6 in Tercentenary Theatre. In addition to Clinton’s address, Class Day will feature student orations, award presentations, and the singing of the Class Ode.
William Jefferson Clinton was elected 42nd president of the United States in 1992 and was re-elected in 1996. His administration was marked by unprecedented economic growth, welfare reform, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and a federal budget surplus. As president, Clinton also focused on providing tax relief for working families, increasing investment in education, and protecting the environment.
Since leaving office, Clinton has established the William J. Clinton Foundation, which works to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative has expanded access to antiretroviral drugs for over 500,000 people in 62 developing nations. The foundation’s other initiatives focus on addressing climate change, international development, and America’s childhood obesity epidemic. The Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference in New York, has resulted in more than $10 billion in commitments to support innovative solutions to a number of global issues.
Clinton and Bill Gates, who will speak at the Afternoon Exercises at Commencement, have worked together to fight AIDS in the developing world. The men appeared together at the 2005 Time Global Health Summit, and traveled together to Africa last summer.
“President Clinton’s work on global health is an inspiration to our class as we leave college and seek to lead lives of impact in the world,” said Matthew P. Downer ’07.
Prior to running for president, Clinton served as governor of Arkansas, attorney general of Arkansas, and as chairman of the National Governors’ Association. He graduated from Georgetown University, earned a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University, and graduated from Yale Law School.