For Immediate Release
April 28, 2009

Contact:David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516



Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist to Address SUNY Geneseo’s 143rd Commencement May 16

College Will Confer Honorary Doctorate on University of Rochester Scientist

GENESEO, N.Y. -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent at The New York Times for 30 years, will address “Tomorrow’s Heroes” at the State University of New York at Geneseo’s 143rd commencement May 16.  The ceremony’s keynote speaker received a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1998 for her coverage of the nation’s highest court.

“Linda Greenhouse is an exceptionally learned and astute observer of the American judicial system as well as an outstanding journalist, and it is a great privilege to have her address our graduates this year,” said SUNY Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl.

Greenhouse is the Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Senior Fellow at the Yale Law School. Her biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, "Becoming Justice Blackmun," was published in 2005.

The college will confer an estimated 1,164 undergraduate degrees and 45 graduate degrees this year during two separate ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena.  Major reductions in state funding for higher education led to the indoor double ceremony as an expense reduction to building a temporary outdoor stadium.  The college started building the larger outdoor stadium ten years ago to accommodate all of the graduates’ family and friends at a single event.   

SUNY Geneseo will confer an honorary doctor of science degree this year on Esther Conwell, a professor of physics and chemistry at the University of Rochester. She is renowned for her research that shaped the understanding of semiconductor physics and for transistor design. Both were vital steps in the birth of the computer revolution.

“Geneseo is proud to award an honorary doctorate to Professor Conwell because of her extraordinary professional accomplishments and her longtime commitment to reducing barriers for women in science,” said Dahl. “She is an exemplar of intellectual curiosity in and of itself and as a spur to invention.”

Carl T. Hayden, chairman of the State University of New York’s Board of Trustees, will assist President Dahl with this year’s commencement ceremonies, which will be streamed live on the Web at