McFadden '84 To Give Keynote at 2008 CLS Graduation

Press contact:
James O’Neill 212-854-1584   Cell: 646-596-2935
March 28, 2008 (NEW YORK) – Cynthia McFadden ’84, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” and “Primetime Live” programs, has been selected by students to give the keynote address at Columbia Law School’s graduation ceremony on May 22.
This year’s graduation will also feature a speech by Prof. Philip Genty, selected by the Class of 2008 as winner of the Willis Reese Teaching Prize. Graduating students Brian Larkin of Suitland, Maryland, elected to represent his fellow J.D. candidates, and Thomas Krawitz, of Munich, Germany, elected to represent his fellow LL.M. candidates, will also speak. Outgoing Student Senate President Tope Yusuf will give remarks, which is a graduation custom.
The announcement of the speakers was made by Devora Whitman and Shawndra Jones, the chairs of the graduation committee. The class gift chairs this year are Simrin Parmar and Francesco Pezone.
This year’s graduation, held during the Law School’s 150th anniversary, will also honor the Class of 1958, which will celebrate its 50th reunion year. Members of that class include H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, to whom Columbia Law School earlier this year gave its most prestigious award, the Medal For Excellence.
Lenfest, president of the Lenfest Foundation, has given $33 million to the Law School, including more than $15 million to build Lenfest Hall, the Law School’s premier residence hall. He is also helping the Law School endow 10 new professors’ chairs with matching gifts.
McFadden, who joined ABC News in 1994 as the network’s legal correspondent, was named co-anchor of “Nightline” in 2005 and co-anchor of “Primetime” in 2007. She has reported numerous exclusives, including an exclusive interview with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in 2005, after the London bombings.
McFadden graduated from Columbia Law School in 1984, then spent eight years as executive producer of Fred Friendly’s Media and Society seminars at Columbia University. In 1991 she joined the brand new Courtroom Television Network and worked as an anchor and senior producer. She anchored live coverage of more than 200 trials, including the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, the Menendez brothers’ murder trial and the Rodney King trial.
In 2007, McFadden returned to Columbia Law School to give the annual Myra Bradwell Lecture, where she focused on the challenges that women journalists face. The Myra Bradwell Lecture is sponsored each year by the Columbia Law School Women’s Association.
The Law School graduation this year will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 22 on the South Lawn in front of Butler Library on the Morningside Heights campus.
For a timeline of highlights that marked Columbia Law School’s initial 150 years, click here. For information about Columbia law School sesquicentennial events, click here.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.