Hamline News

Students to hear from polar explorer & member of President Obama’s administration at grad ceremonies

steger explorer


Internationally-recognized polar explorer Will Steger will deliver the commencement addresses for the 2010 undergraduate and graduate students ceremonies at Hamline University.

Bud Philbrook, former Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and Hamline University School of Law class of 1983 alumnus, will be the keynote speaker at the School of Law’s commencement ceremony.

The ceremonies all take place on Saturday, May 22.

Will Steger
Will Steger is known for his numerous polar expeditions and efforts to raise international awareness about environmental threats. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dog-sled over the past 45 years, leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history. Steger’s pioneering work in adventure-based environmental education was pivotal in founding Hamline School of Education’s Global Center for Environmental Education. At the undergraduate ceremony, Steger will be awarded an honorary doctor of science from Hamline for his lifetime achievements in environmental education teaching, discovery, and learning.

“We are honored that Mr. Steger has agreed to speak at our Commencement. So many of our Hamline students are passionate about the environment, and Will Steger is an icon in the field of environmental teaching and learning,” said Hamline University President Linda N. Hanson. “As our graduating seniors grew up in the late 1980’s, many have followed Will Steger’s ground-breaking journeys since they were young children, tracking his explorations in their grade school classes. His speech will be a moment in time that they will remember their entire lives.”

The senior student speaker at the undergraduate ceremony will be Hamline University Student Congress president David McCarthy.

Bud Philbrook
For the past year, until his resignation in January 2010 due to a family illness, Bud Philbrook served as a member of President Obama’s administration as Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. Prior to that, Philbrook was chief executive officer of Global Volunteers, an international non-profit organization he co-founded 26 years ago with his wife. Philbrook also earned his JD at Hamline School of Law, practiced law, served a term in the Minnesota legislature, and ran for governor of Minnesota in 2006 cycle.

“We could not be more pleased that Bud Philbrook will be speaking to our law graduates on this most important occasion,” said Donald Lewis, dean of the Hamline University School of Law. “He has demonstrated, throughout his career and life, a commitment to service and to his community, and that is definitely a perspective we’d like our graduates to hear and carry forward into the world. I expect Mr. Philbrook’s remarks will have a powerful impact on our students.”

Hamline’s undergraduate graduation ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010, the graduate schools’ ceremony follows at 1:30 p.m., and the law school ceremony is at 5:00 p.m. All ceremonies will take place outside, on Hamline University’s Old Main Mall at 1536 Hewitt Ave in Saint Paul. (The alternate rain site is the Saint Paul RiverCentre’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium at 175 West Kellogg Blvd in Saint Paul. Final site determination will be posted on Hamline’s website and hotline, 651-523-5555, the morning of the event).