What is it like to have one of your professional heroes deliver your commencement address? After May 12, many alumni at Unity College will be able to answer just that question.
Internationally renowned wildlife conservationist and television personality Jeff Corwin, who has inspired a generation of the conservation-minded by sharing stories about the wild on shows including “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin” and CNN’s “Planet in Peril” with Anderson Cooper, will speak at Unity College’s 2018 commencement.
Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said Corwin will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Sustainability Science before addressing approximately 120 candidates for graduation from America’s Environmental College.
“Mr. Corwin has empowered and inspired audiences to take an active role in environmental conservation,” said Dr. Khoury. “Over the years, he has opened up the entire world to viewers, taking them to places they may never get a chance to visit, and introducing them to some wildlife that, sadly, may not be long for this world. Through his work, we have really gotten to see what’s at stake.”
“As a longtime fan of Jeff Corwin and his work, I’m truly ecstatic to have him welcome this year’s graduating class to the professional world that they’ve all worked so hard to achieve,” said Autumn Kanakis (‘18), who was a member of the Commencement Speaker Committee and President of the Student Government Association. “Jeff has not just been an inspiration to myself, but to many students in this generation. And as much as it means to us students to have him here for commencement, I’m also glad he gets to see the full circle of his work as we enter the field alongside him.”
“I love the mission of Unity College — educating students as responsible citizens and environmental stewards. It’s so important.” said Jeff Corwin. “I’m looking forward to connecting with these students who will take what they’ve learned at Unity, and as leaders, apply it to conservation efforts.”
Corwin has garnered Emmys as both a host and producer for his ABC wildlife adventure series “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin,” and also received an Emmy for his Discovery Kids show “Jeff Corwin Unleashed.” He is the author of “100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth’s Most Endangered Species,” “Living on the Edge: Amazing Relationships in the Natural World,” and a series of e-books for young readers.
In addition to his writing and television, Corwin was the driving force behind the EcoZone Museum at South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell, Mass., with the goal of engaging children to learn more about their local habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and tidal zones.
“Mr. Corwin understands that it is going to take this generation and the next to begin to solve our environmental issues,” said Dr. Khoury. “His connection with young people, through education and raising awareness in ways that are both fun and awe-inspiring, has helped inspire the environmental stewards and visionary leaders of today, and tomorrow.”
Corwin has always been a nature enthusiast, earning bachelor’s degrees in biology and anthropology, as well as a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries conservation. He continues to share his explorations with audiences on his new series “Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin.”
“This is an incredible opportunity for the students, as well as the college,” said Dr. Khoury. “I would not be surprised if some of our graduates in attendance were drawn to environmental conservation at a young age, in part, because of Corwin’s shows.”
Commencement exercises begin 11 a.m. Saturday, May 12. The ceremony is open to Unity College graduates and their guests. The ceremony and speeches will be streamed on the Unity College Facebook page.