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~Whoopi Goldberg Will Deliver 2002 Commencement Speech at Wellesley~

For immediate release:
February 26, 2002

Arlie Corday,
781-283-3321 or 2373

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Actress, comedian and humanitarian Whoopi Goldberg will address the Class of 2002 at Wellesley College's 124th Commencement Exercises on Friday, May 31, beginning at 10:30 am.

Goldberg has received numerous awards and considerable acclaim for her work in film, television, recordings and theater. In addition to her Oscar, Grammy and two Golden Globe awards, she has been honored with multiple NAACP Image Awards, numerous People's Choice Awards and an unprecedented five Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards as "Favorite Movie Actress," as well as various awards and honors for her many humanitarian efforts.

Born and raised in New York City, Goldberg worked in theater and improvisation in San Diego and the Bay Area, where she created the characters that evolved into a hit Broadway show, Grammy Award-winning album and HBO special Whoopi Goldberg, Direct from Broadway, that helped launch her career. She made her motion picture debut in Steven Spielberg's film version of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Her performance in Ghost earned her both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actress.

Goldberg has appeared in a steady stream of popular motion pictures, gaining the respect of film critics the world over. Her film credits include Jumpin' Jack Flash, Fatal Beauty, Clara's Heart and the worldwide hit Sister Act.

This year Goldberg will host the Academy Awards for the fourth time. She remains the first black woman to emcee the Academy Awards as a solo act. On television, she has appeared in many series and specials, including her own HBO specials. She has three times served as host of ABC's A Gala for the President at Ford's Theatre and has completed eight Comic Relief telecasts with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. She also appeared for five seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation among other television credits.

Goldberg has also made her mark as a producer. She is executive producer of and appears in the center square on the Emmy Award-winning Hollywood Squares. She is also executive producer of Lifetime's Strong Medicine, which currently is the top-rated drama series on cable television. In addition to the recent Lifetime Original Movie What Makes a Family, Goldberg was also executive producer of the Showtime television movie Ruby's Bucket of Blood. Other producing projects include the now-in-production feature films The Piano Man's Daughter and The Mao Game; the forthcoming Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie; and the TNT Original Movie Call Me Clause, in which she also stars.

Wellesley's Commencement Exercises for the approximately 600 members of the Class of 2002 will take place rain or shine in the center of the Wellesley, Mass., campus, under a tent on Severance Green. For travel directions, go to A campus map can be found at

All media are required to check in at the press area in the tent. Photographers will be escorted to the stage area. Media are welcome to cover all of the day's events as outlined below:

9:15 am: Senior Class photograph on Severance Hill

9:45 am: Procession formation:
Seniors - Academic Quad
Faculty - Outside Founders Hall on Jewett Road

10:30 am: Commencement Exercises, Severance Green Tent. Procession begins down Jewett Road, onto Severance Green; enters at back of tent. Seniors go first, stop outside tent and form two lines, through which the faculty process (and are applauded by the students). Trustees follow faculty. President Diana Chapman Walsh and Commencement speaker Whoopi Goldberg follow trustees. Then students enter tent and take their seats.

10:45 am -12:30 pm: Invocation
Welcome by President Walsh
Student speaker
Announcement of retirements, faculty award winners
Whoopi Goldberg delivers commencement address (beginning at about 11:15 am)
President Walsh, Charge to the Class of 2002
Conferring of degrees
Everyone sings "America the Beautiful," written by Katharine Lee Bates, Wellesley Class of 1880.

12:30-2:30 pm: Reception on the nearby Chapel Lawn after the ceremonies.

Founded in 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal arts and the education of women for 125 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students. For more information, contact the Office for Public Information at 781-283-2373.



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  • Office for Public Information
  • Date Modified: Feb. 26, 2002
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