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Saint Mary’s announces Commencement speaker

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Marine biologist Sylvia Earle will deliver the 2010 Commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Saint Mary’s. Author Lois Lowry will also be receiving an honorary doctor of humanities degree at the ceremony.

“It will be an honor to welcome Sylvia Earle and Lois Lowry to our campus,” College President Carol Ann Mooney said in a press release.

According to the release, Earle has spent over 6,000 hours underwater. The New York Times labeled her “Her Deepness.” She led the first all-female team of aquanauts in 1970 and holds the record for the deepest solo dive.

In September 2009, she published the book “The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Oceans Are One,” which discusses the need to protect oceans and the work people need to do to keep them clean.

“Dr. Earle is a passionate advocate for the survival of our planet,” Mooney said. “Her work to save our oceans is legendary and I know our graduates will be inspired by her dedication to this important cause.”

Lowry, a young-adult fiction writer, won Newberry Medals for her books “Number the Stars” and “The Giver.” She is also author of the Anastasia Krupnik series.

“The majority of our graduates probably counted Lois Lowry’s books among their favorites when they were growing up,” Mooney said. “We are delighted to be able to recognize her body of work.”

Commencement will be held May 15 at noon on Le Mans Green.