UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ is set to give the keynote speech at the 2017 Winter Commencement on Sunday, Dec. 17.
Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email that instead of having a keynote speaker, which is the common practice at commencements, Chancellor Christ will give her investiture speech. An investiture, according to Mogulof, is a “ceremony which, like an inauguration, represents the formal installation of someone into a position of leadership and authority.”
Mogulof added in his email that more information about the 2017 Winter Commencement will be sent out in the “days ahead.”
In past years, winter commencement keynote speeches have been given by esteemed staff members, distinguished alumni and celebrities.
- Dana Vollmer — 2016 winter keynote speaker, a swimmer at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. Vollmer is also the first U.S. swimmer to win a gold medal after giving birth.
- Robert Reich — 2015 winter keynote speaker, a current professor of public policy who served as the secretary of labor under former president Bill Clinton.
- Bill Maher — 2014 winter keynote speaker, the host of the HBO television show “Real Time with Bill Maher” who has written several political commentary books. Protesters gathered in response to the choice of Maher as the keynote speaker and claimed that this decision alienated students because of Maher’s comments on Islam.
- Randy Schekman — 2013 winter keynote speaker, a current molecular and cell biology professor at UC Berkeley and winner of the Nobel Prize in physiology.
- Maz Jobrani — 2012 winter keynote speaker, an Iranian American comedian and UC Berkeley graduate who has appeared in shows such as “The Colbert Report” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and is part of a comedy group called “Axis of Evil,” which focuses on Islamophobia.