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Bernie Sanders Commencement Speaker

Sanders addresses to both Johnson State and Lyndon State to celebrate creation of Northern Vermont University

Bernie Sanders Commencement Speaker

March 7, 2017


Senator Bernie Sanders to Deliver 2017 Lyndon State College Commencement Address

Sanders Addresses to Both Johnson State and Lyndon State to Celebrate Creation of Northern Vermont University

Lyndon Center, Vt. – Lyndon State College President Nolan Atkins announced Tuesday that Senator Bernie Sanders will be the keynote speaker at the college’s 105th commencement on Sunday, May 14, 2017.

“Lyndon State College is delighted that Senator Sanders, whose commitment to social justice and access to higher education so closely matches Lyndon’s own mission, will celebrate Lyndon’s commencement,” said President Atkins. “This year caps Lyndon’s three-year run celebrating a year of social justice, a year of compassion, and this year, courage.”

Senator Sanders was the four-term mayor of Burlington (1981-89), spent 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and was elected to his current role as U.S. Senator in 2006. His grassroots-driven presidential campaign successfully raised the profile of economic, social, educational and environmental justice issues at the national level. And as the longest-serving independent in the U.S. Congress in American history, Senator Sanders continues to advocate for policies that serve all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Senator Sanders’ Lyndon address comes the day after his appearance at Johnson State College’s commencement. As Lyndon State and Johnson State begin the unification process to transition to Northern Vermont University, the colleges seek opportunities to share in meaningful, beneficial programs even before the two campuses become one university. Johnson State College President Elaine Collins will become the president of both institutions on July 1, 2017, and unification will be complete by July 2018.

“Sanders’ address at Lyndon, combined with Johnson’s commencement the day before, will symbolically mark the kick-off of the transition of our two colleges to Northern Vermont University,” said President Atkins. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Sanders will help celebrate our combined future by encouraging and inspiring both of our student communities.”

Moving forward, the two campuses will continue the tradition of hosting their own commencement speakers in coming years as part of maintaining their two distinct cultures.

Lyndon State’s 105th commencement ceremony will be a ticketed event this year, with seating under the tent reserved for graduating students, their guests and for others participating in the ceremony. Simulcasts of the ceremony will be broadcast on campus and a live-stream of the ceremony will also be available online. More information about Lyndon State’s commencement can be found at

Lyndon State College, founded in 1911, combines a liberal arts education with nationally recognized professional programs that integrate theory with hands-on experiences to prepare individuals for career success. The college receives national recognition for its atmospheric sciences, electronic journalism arts, and outdoor recreation management programs. Nestled in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, the college of 1,200 students is known for its tradition of excellence, enthusiasm, community service, and friendliness. Learn more at

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