Evan Wolfson and President Obama to Receive Barnard Medal of Distinction

On Monday, May 14, our Founder and President Evan Wolfson will receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction alongside President Barack Obama at the graduation ceremony for Barnard College, a women's college in New York City. President Obama will deliver a commencement address to the approximately 600 members of the Barnard College Class of 2012, and then receive the college's highest honor, the Barnard Medal of Distinction, alongside Wolfson. Helene D. Gayle, the President and CEO of CARE USA, and Sally Chapman, a Barnard professor of chemistry, will also be receiving the award. 

Previous recipients of the Barnard Medal of Distinction include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, actress Meryl Streep, famed literary journalist Joan Didion, and Broadway star Audra McDonald. New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye, who received the medal in 1987, will be presenting the honor to Wolfson. 

"I am deeply moved to join with President Obama to celebrate the next generation of leaders coming up among Barnard women, and to share the Barnard Medal of Distinction with the President,” Wolfson said. “And when I get the chance to whisper in the President's ear, I will thank him for the important steps he has already taken in support of the freedom to marry, applaud him for speaking in such personal terms about the journey he and so many Americans have made to understand who gay families are and why marriage matters, and encourage him to complete that journey and join the national majority for marriage.”   

The commencement ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Monday on Columbia University's South Lawn. President Obama's speech will be broadcast live on Barnard College's web site.