The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

McKibben to speak at commencement

McKibben+will+be+speaking+at+Grinnell%E2%80%99s+2015+commencement+ceremony.%0A%0APhoto+contributed.
McKibben will be speaking at Grinnell’s 2015 commencement ceremony. Photo contributed.

As a renowned critical thinker and committed environmental activist, journalist Bill McKibben is known for possessing many of the common Grinnellian values in the ways that he has conducted his career. This, among other reasons, is why he has been chosen as the speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony.

McKibben will be speaking at Grinnell’s 2015 commencement ceremony. Photo contributed.
McKibben will be speaking at Grinnell’s 2015 commencement ceremony.
Photo contributed.

Beginning in 2011, McKibben was one of the leaders of the environmentalist campaign representing opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. In an interview with Democracy Now, he passionately posed the biggest concerns with the issue in regards to a way of large-scale thinking.

“We can no longer solve this problem one light bulb at a time. … We need to understand that at its core, this is a structural and systemic problem, and it will be changed when we’re able to weaken the power of this industry and do rudimentary but powerful things,” he said to Democracy Now.

Rachel Bly, the director of Conference Operations and Events, said that she believes this year’s graduating students will find important messages and be able to relate to McKibben’s commencement speech.

“Some of his books talk a lot about how he interacts with the world, … and using your life to make a positive, conscious impact,” Bly said. “I think that resonates really well with Grinnell students with both their interests and struggle with how to do that well.”

McKibben also has an aunt and uncle, Bill and Betty McKibben, who together worked as professors in the Classics department of Grinnell for over 50 years and whom the McKibben lecture is named after. With family in Grinnell, McKibben has spent a significant amount of time in Iowa, and on Grinnell’s campus.

“In addition to his academic focus fitting in with Grinnell and how a lot of students feel about environmental issues, he also fits on a very personal level,” Bly said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *