CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot will deliver the commencement address to Northwestern University graduates in June, when the school holds a virtual graduation ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic that has seniors wrapping up their year with remote classes.
Already a prominent leader in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Lightfoot suggested the fight against COVID-19 and its effect on students will be part of her speech.
“I am thinking a lot about my message to the students who are graduating into a world that’s probably very different that they entered when they started as freshmen. So I will reflect upon that I would expect,” she said.
The mayor said she was honored and humbled to be invited to speak at Northwestern’s commencement, calling the university an important part of the Chicago region.
“It’s in mid-June, so I haven’t written the speech yet, but I would expect that I will talk about the fact of the challenges, but also the opportunity that I think are facing the young men and women who are going to be graduating from Northwestern,” she said.
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro said Lightfoot is an ideal commencement speaker for Northwestern, which is celebrating the 150th year since women were first admitted to the school.
“Lori Lightfoot has consistently reminded us of society’s obligation to serve everyone, and she has worked tirelessly toward that end,” Schapiro said. “As the mayor of one of the world’s great cities, she has committed Chicago to being a model for solutions to urban challenges around the globe,” Schapiro said in a statement.
The entire spring quarter at Northwestern was moved to remote classes, after its spring break in March was extended by a week due to the COVID-19 crisis. Campus buildings are closed through the end of the month, except for residence halls where students unable to leave campus are still living.
The virtual commencement ceremony will be held online on June 19. An campus event to salute 2020 graduates will be scheduled at a later date.