Campus & Community

2014 spring Commencement speakers announced

The University of Denver has announced speakers for the spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies in May and June.

Linda Childears, president and CEO of the Daniels Fund, will deliver the spring undergraduate Commencement address on Saturday, June 7.

Childears serves on the boards of Cheyenne Capital Fund, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Association of Funders, Mountain States Employers Council, and Conference of Southwest Foundations. She is a member of the Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance Leadership Council and Mayor Hancock’s Denver Education Compact. She is past chairman of National Assembly, National Camp Fire, and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Past board positions include Alliance for Choice in Education, Cherry Creek Business Improvement District, CollegeInvest, Colorado Meth Project, Daniels College of Business, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, DU Bridge Project, Foundation for Teaching Economics, Johnson & Wales University, Junior Achievement, Mile High United Way, National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, OpenWorld Learning, and Young Americans Bank and Center for Financial Education.

Childears was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration in Financial Services Management from Johnson & Wales University in July 2010, and was named National Philanthropy Day’s Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in 2010. Other honors include Colorado Bankers Association Banker of Distinction, Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction, the Athena Award in 2008, and Honorary Lifetime Membership in Camp Fire.


Donna Lynne, executive vice president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan Inc. and a group president for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, will deliver the 2014 spring graduate Commencement address on Friday, June 6.

Lynne was an international executive fellow with the International Federation of Health Plans and was awarded the Denver Business Journal’s 2008 Outstanding Women in Business Award. Lynne received the 2009 Distinguished Coloradan Award from the University of Colorado Denver School of Pharmacy; she also received the President’s Award from Women in Health Management and the Health Care Leadership Award from the New York Business Group on Health.

Lynne has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University and a doctorate in public health from Columbia University. Lynne is the current chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the boards of Colorado Legacy Foundation, Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Public Schools Foundation, Teach for America-Colorado and U.S. Bank Colorado Advisory Board. Dr. Lynne is a member of Colorado Concern and Colorado Forum. She currently co-chairs the Denver Education Compact Executive Advisory Board for Mayor Michael Hancock. In 2010, she was one of 16 statewide transition co-chairs and the Personnel and Administration Committee co-chair for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Lynne currently serves on Gov. Hickenlooper’s TBD Colorado Advisory Group.


Harold Hongju Koh, a professor of international law at Yale University, will deliver the keynote speech at the Sturm College of Law Commencement Ceremony on May 17. Koh is one of the country’s leading experts in public and private international law, national security law and human rights. He began teaching at Yale Law School in 1985 and served as its 15th dean from 2004–09. From 2009–13, he took leave to join the State Department as legal adviser, service for which he received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. From 1998–2001, Koh served as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor.

The graduate and undergraduate Commencement ceremonies will stream live on the Commencement website.

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