Pulitzer Prize-Winner Thomas Friedman to Speak at Tulane’s Commencement

December 13, 2010

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Best-selling author, reporter, New York Times columnist and three time Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctorate from Tulane University at its 2011 Commencement, which will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 12 in the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

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"We are fortunate to have such an influential, respected and independent thinker for this year's commencement speaker," Tulane President Scott Cowen said. "This will only add to the excitement that is building around our salute to the extraordinary class of 2011."

Friedman has covered many of the world's major events of the last four decades including Lebanon's civil war in the 1970s, the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s, the Clinton White House of the 1990s, the attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He has also written extensively about the world at the intersection of the new (technology, the Internet and the resulting globalization) and the old ("passions of nationalism, ethnicity, religion, geography and culture").

Friedman earned an undergraduate degree in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University in 1975 and a master of philosophy from Oxford University in modern Middle East studies in 1978. The Middle East would come to dominate much of his writing as the New York Times’ Foreign Affairs columnist. But the environment and globalization have been his primary themes of late.

His 2008 book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America is his fifth consecutive bestseller and was read by President Barack Obama on his 2009 summer vacation. Conversely, with the hope that it would establish an authentic democracy in the heart of the Middle East, his columns supported President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

For more information on Tulane’s 2011 Commencement, visit:

Download high resolution photograph of Thomas Friedman

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000