Evan Wolfson and President Barack Obama Honored at Barnard College
This afternoon, at the Barnard College graduation ceremony, President Barack Obama will receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction, which is also being presented to Freedom to Marry's Founder and President Evan Wolfson. After delivering the commencement address to the approximately 600 members of the Class of 2012, President Obama will be presented with the prestigious Barnard Medal of Distinction. The President will stand beside Evan Wolfson, Helene D. Gayle - president and CEO of CARE USA - and Barnard Chemistry professor Sally Chapman, who will also be receiving the award.
Wolfson's shared appearance with the President comes just days after the President spoke out in support of the freedom to marry for all Americans. Wolfson said he is excited to share the stage with the President and thank him for his heartfelt realization about the need to embrace the freedom to marry. Wolfson said:
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 him. I will thank the President for doing what we elect presidents to do - showing moral leadership in standing up for freedom, fairness, and families - and for speaking in such personal terms about the journey he and so many Americans have made to understand who gay familes are and why marriage matters.
Previous recipients of the Barnard Medal of Distinction include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, famed journalist Walter Cronkite, former New York governor Mario Cuomo, and Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep. At this year's ceremony, former New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye, who received the honor in 1987, will present the Medal to Wolfson.
The commencement and honors ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. today on Columbia University's South Lawn. The speech will be broadcast live on Barnard College's website. Watch the broadcast here.