New York Times Columnist to Speak at Graduation

New York Times Op-Ed columnist and frequent TV and radio commentator David Brooks will address Harper Graduates at the College's Graduation and Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 20th at 2 p.m. Brooks is also the author of several books and is a frequent guest on PBS' "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer" NPR's "All Things Considered" and the "Diane Rehm Show." In his columns, speeches, books and articles, Brooks has received rave reviews for his frank, insightful and sometimes humorous observations on political, social and cultural events and trends.

Brooks will receive an honorary degree from Harper and will speak to what's expected to be a near capacity crowd. For the second year in a row Harper will graduate a record number of students. In the latest count, 4,232 students - 399 more than last year's record number - will earn an associate degree or certificate from Harper in the 2011-2012 academic year. The increased number of graduates is the result of a college-wide effort to increase the number of students who complete degree or certificate requirements.

"Too many students leave community colleges without completing a degree or certificate or transferring to a four-year university," said Harper College President Dr. Kenneth L. Ender. "If the U.S. is to successfully compete in a 21st century global economy, we must get more college students to the finish line."

Harper College's Graduation and Commencement Ceremony will take place on the quad on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The event is free and open to the public.

Press Contact: Phil Burdick, Chief Communications Officer, Harper College, 847.925.6183 (office) 847. 951.6183 (cell)