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New College Graduates 144 Students and Awards First Honorary Degree
(SARASOTA, Fla., May 23, 2014) – In a sunset ceremony on the bayfront, New College of Florida awarded bachelor of arts degrees to 144 students, and bestowed its first honorary degree to alumnus and keynote speaker Jennifer Granick at its 48th commencement.
Among the graduates are five Fulbright Scholarship winners, and two of the 10 members of the first class of Florida’s Frost Scholars, who received full scholarships for graduate degrees at England’s University of Oxford. One of the Frost Scholars, mathematics student Timothy Duff of Tampa, Fla., delivered the student address.
Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, delivered the commencement address. She recalled her time at New College and how that led to her career as a pioneer in Internet law and prominent critic of the government’s electronic surveillance programs.
“No government should accumulate so much information that it could easily decide to discredit people whose ideas it fears,” Granick said. “Now that the public is beginning to know the truth, we have so many important, difficult choices to make. When do systems of power make liberty possible and when do they cross the line into oppression? How should we combat terrorism? How much surveillance and how much secrecy are compatible with democracy?”
Granick graduated from New College in 1990 and received her law degree from the University of California. New College President Donal O’Shea awarded her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.As always, the graduating class embodied the New College spirit of individuality and creativity by forgoing the traditional cap and gown for attire ranging from formal suits and dresses to colorful costumes. The tradition celebrates the completion of a rigorous curriculum, capped with an oral baccalaureate exam and final senior thesis project that often is on a par with doctoral-level work.
New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report,ForbesandThe Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 38 states and 20 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.