MEDIA ADVISORY: Yale University’s 311th Commencement events to be held May 20 and 21

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Yale University’s 311th Commencement will take place on May 21. Barbara Walters of ABC News will be the featured speaker at the 2012 Yale College Class Day event on May 20.

All members of the media must display Yale press credentials during Commencement and Class Day. Credentials are required for access to the media platform on Old Campus. Requests should be emailed to [email protected]. Reserved credentials must be picked up from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday- Friday, May 15-18 at the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC), 2 Whitney Grove Square, Suite 330, corner of Whitney and Grove streets, 203-432-1345.

Class Day and Commencement ceremonies can be viewed on Yale Livestream. Class Day, featuring Walters’ talk begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 20. University graduation begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 21.

Follow Yale on Facebook and Twitter for access to the weekend’s activities, including a Baccalaureate Address by President Richard C. Levin, a reception for parents and graduates, and much more. Use the hashtag #Yale2012 on Twitter to share your photos and impressions.

Stay connected to Commencement information with the Yale iPhone app.

Download images of Commencement 2012 taken by Yale photographers during and after the weekend on Flickr.

Visit the Yale Commencement page for full schedules and additional information.

Sunday, May 20 Yale College Baccalaureate, 11 a.m.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the Baccalaureate service for Yale College seniors and their families at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 20. The ceremony, which features addresses by President Richard C. Levin and Yale College Dean Mary Miller, will take place in Woolsey Hall, northwest corner of Grove and College streets. Space for camera crews is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be reserved by Friday, May 18 at 5 p.m. by contacting the Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications via email: [email protected]. Media may cover the ceremony from the rear of the balcony in Woolsey Hall. Camera crews must be positioned before the service begins and are requested to remain in place until the end of the event, which lasts about 90 minutes.

Yale College Class Day, 2 p.m.

Class Day

Members of the media are invited to register for press credentials to attend Class Day on Old Campus, bordered by Chapel, College, Elm, and High Streets. This year the speaker will be ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters (see accompanying bio, below).

Class Day traditions include planting the Class Ivy, reciting the Ivy Ode, awarding academic prizes to students, a class history video, and singing Yale’s alma mater, “Bright College Years,” while waving a white handkerchief.

Media should use the High Street gate closest to Elm Street to enter Old Campus and access the media platform. This is the same gate used to accommodate guests with disabilities or special needs. OPAC staff will be at the gate and on the platform to assist media members.

There will be a mult-box for radio/television crews. A BNC video feed from Yale’s dedicated camera in front of the stage will provide a head-on camera angle.

Monday, May 21 University Commencement, 10 a.m.

Media should use the High Street gate closest to Elm Street to access the media platform on Old Campus.

All media photographers, reporters and television camera crews must cover Commencement from the news media platform, where video and audio feeds will be available. Access to the platform requires a Yale media credential.


Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters, who has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any journalist in history, is so well known that she is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary.

In 2004, after 25 years as co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News’ “20/20,” Walters began a new phase in her ABC career, substantially increasing the number of primetime ABC News specials, in addition to her “Barbara Walters Specials.” Walters joined ABC News in 1976 as the first woman to co-host the network news.

Walters’ “20/20” exclusives included the first interview with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding her autobiography; the first with Martha Stewart before her trial and following sentencing; and the first formal interview with former Vice President Al Gore since the controversial 2000 presidential election. Walters also tackled tough issues surrounding the war with Iraq, including reports on Iraqi women and children who lived through the first Persian Gulf War.

She has interviewed every American president and first lady since Richard Nixon. She made journalism history by arranging the first joint interview with Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1977. Another first was a conversation with Cuban President Fidel Castro — an interview that has been printed in half a dozen languages and shown all over the world. She traveled to Cuba to interview Castro again on the 25th anniversary of their original meeting.

She has interviewed Russia’s Boris Yeltsin, China’s Premier Jiang Zemin, Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Libya’s Moammar Qadaffi, and Iraq’s President Sadaam Hussein.  She was the first American journalist to interview Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and did the first interview with President George W. and Laura Bush following Sept. 11. Most recently, she conducted an exclusive interview with Syrian President Bashir al Assad in Damascus. In 1999, Walters conducted the first interview with Monica Lewinsky, which became the highest-rated news program ever broadcast by a single network.

“The Barbara Walters Specials” are the top-rated specials of the year and have included such notables as Sir Laurence Olivier, Bing Crosby, John Wayne, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Simon Cowell, Betty White, Katy Perry, David and Victoria Beckham, Justin Timberlake, and George Clooney. In 2010, Walters’ hosted her 29th and final Oscar special. Her “The 10 Most Fascinating People” broadcast, launched in 1993, offers a review of the most prominent newsmakers of the year, as well as the “most fascinating” person.

Walters’ is creator, co-owner, executive producer, and co-host of “The View,” recipient of the 2003 Daytime Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Talk Show.” In 2009, “The View” hosts received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host and were chosen as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine. Forbes ranked “The View” #11 among “30 of the Most Influential Women in Media.”

Prior to joining ABC, she appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” for 15 years. She began as a writer on the “Today Show,” became a reporter-at-large, and was the program’s first female co-host.

Walters was a member of the NBC News team that went to China to cover the visits of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. She also hosted her own popular syndicated series, “Not for Women Only.” Early in her career she was a writer for CBS News and the youngest producer with NBC-TV’s New York station (WNBC-TV).

Walters is a New York Times best-selling author for her 2008 memoir, “Audition.”

Walters has received national recognition for her work and as well as numerous prestigious honors and awards. Among these are:

• Induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame “for being acknowledged worldwide as one of television’s most respected interviewers and journalists,” 1990.
• Induction into the Museum of Television and Radio in Los Angeles, 2004.
• The Overseas Press Club’s highest award, the President’s Award, 1988.
• Lifetime Achievement Award, International Women’s Media Foundation, 1991.
• Lifetime Achievement Award, Women’s Project and Productions, 1993,
• The Muse Award from NY Women in Film and Television, 1997,
• Lifetime Achievement Awards, National Academy of Television.

Helpful links to Yale Commencement information:

Yale News:

Yale Commencement page:

Yale Livestream:

Yale Facebook:

Yale Twitter:!/yale

Yale Flickr:

Yale iPhone app:

Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: [email protected], 203-432-1326