The Lawyer and Activist Will Receive an Honorary Degree by Anthony Viola
On June 1, Anita Hill, the women’s rights activist and a voice of the #metoo movement, will speak at the City College of New York’s 2018 main commencement. The event will take place at 9:30 AM on the south lawn of the college’s campus.
Professor Hill, a faculty member at Brandeis University in Boston, changed history following her dramatic testimony to the United States Senate in 1991 during Justice Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court. During the nationally-televised confirmation process, Hill testified against Thomas for sexually harassing her while she worked for him at the XX. Her words electrified the nation and intensified movements in support of feminist ideals.
Dee Mozeleski, the senior advisor to the president, explains the decision to honor Professor Hill revolved around her humanitarian work. “[She] is a noted law professor, author and voice for gender and civil rights, and has dedicated her professional and personal life to the cause of protecting the rights of others,” Mozeleski states.
Following the events of 1991, Hill continued her career as an advocate, especially for women across the country. She recently made an appearance at Rutgers Law School to discuss the importance of the #MeToo movement. “We will never be the same after the ‘Me Too’ movement, after such revelations of sexual violence,” Hill stated during her address.
HilThe announcement of Hill as commencement speaker came on May 10, after months without updates on the ceremony’s official program. According to Mozeleski, the decision was pending, awaiting approval by the City University of New York’s Board of Trustees. “The timing of the announcement is always in line with the final CUNY Board of Trustees approval, and was issued shortly after the May 9th BoT meeting [that] took place on our campus,” she explains.
Hill will also receive an honorary degree from the institution along with alumni Seymour Moskowitz, co-founder of CoVant Management, and Harold Scheraga, a professor at Cornell University. Mozeleski notes that the decision to award Hill a degree became official earlier in the semester. The City College Faculty Senate affirmed the choice while selecting her as the speaker.
Yasmine El Gheur and Zhiying Zhu, the valedictorian and salutatorian, will also represent their graduating class of 4,005 undergraduates at our 172nd commencement.