Yale University

Class News

Gus Speth '64 gives UMass commencement speech

On May 31, 2013, Gus was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Massachusetts and gave the principal address at their commencement ceremonies. In announcing Gus's choice as commencement speaker, Chancellor J. Keith Motley stated: "Dr. Speth has advocated for our planet and its most vulnerable populations for many years. I believe that he will have a lot to communicate to our students about their roles in the fight against climate change, and that they will take hope and inspiration from his words."

The citation for the honorary degree was as follows:

"Speth has held multiple roles in the United Nations, working to protect Earth and its people from the effects of climate change. He was one of the first policymakers to link the environmental movement to movements against global poverty and for economic empowerment, creating holistic strategies for healing the Earth while promoting the sustainable progress of its people. For ten years, he headed the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and is currently a professor of law at the Vermont School of Law. Speth most recently wrote the book America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, a guide to political, environmental, economic, and electoral revitalization for the United States."