Christie Whitman, EPA administrator and former governor of New Jersey, will address the 1,200 graduates of Lehigh University’s Class of 2002 at the 134th Commencement at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 2. During the ceremony at Lehigh’s Goodman Stadium, Whitman will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Lehigh Senior Class President Peter Auerbach of Bronxville, N.Y., said, "We believe former Governor Whitman is the kind of speaker who will inspire our class because of her record of achievement in balancing environmental and economic goals. Her accomplishments demonstrate that you can be personally successful while also making a difference in other people's lives."
Auerbach and his fellow officers, Vice President Kimberly Tucker of Chatham, N.J., Secretary Bryan Ursic of Newtown, Pa., and Treasurer Amy Coles of Erie, Pa., polled the senior class for suggestions regarding a commencement speaker, and the qualities and characteristics he or she should possess. They looked at many fields, including the arts, business, politics, films, literature, journalism, and sports, and Whitman emerged from the top choices.
"As head of the EPA, Christie Whitman is continuing her record of forging strong partnerships among citizens, government and business to produce measurable environmental results of cleaner air, water and land," said Lehigh President Gregory C. Farrington. "At Lehigh, our students learn that such partnerships are key to success in work and life. So I am confident that former Governor Whitman's message to the Class of 2002 will resonate strongly with graduates, parents, families and friends."
Whitman was sworn in as EPA Administrator on January 31, 2001. Prior to that, she served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey. As governor of New Jersey, Whitman developed a strong environmental record, providing cleaner air, water and land than when she was first elected in November 1993.