New York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens, AB’95, has been named the invited speaker for the University of Chicago’s Class Day ceremony on Friday, June 2. The tradition marks the start of Convocation weekend and will celebrate the numerous accomplishments of graduating students in the College.
Stephens received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary for his Global View column in The Wall Street Journal, which examined foreign policy and domestic politics. In 2019, he was presented an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which celebrates Americans working for the betterment of our country and its citizens. He is also a founder of the Renew Democracy Initiative, an organization dedicated to strengthening the principles of liberal democracy at home and abroad.
“The University of Chicago taught me the importance of intellectual humility, and I am honored to share my experiences with the Class of 2023,” said Stephens. “My time at UChicago showed me that there’s always more that can be learned, always someone to learn from. Those ‘someones’ were everywhere on campus, and to this day, the memory of my time in the College fills me with extreme gratitude.”
During his time in the College, Stephens completed his bachelor’s degree in Fundamentals: Issues and Texts and dedicated much of his time to studying. Foreshadowing his career in opinion writing and articulating his polarizing critiques of American politics, Stephens reveled in spirited classroom debates with his professors and classmates and gained his first experience in professional journalism interning with The Times. He recalls the profound impact his professors had on him and in shaping his graduate work and career.