The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday April 2nd

Committee To Select '01 Speaker

The committee that announced the senior class gift last week is now working to nail down its choice for 2001 Commencement speaker.

Earlier this semester, seniors were given the opportunity to submit suggestions that have since been considered and narrowed down by the gift committee, a panel consisting of seniors, faculty and administrators. "We looked at suggestions from the senior class and a list of five or six has been chosen," said Senior Class President Jason Cowley.

Cowley said the candidate names will remain confidential until a definite decision is made, but he did reveal that the board is primarily considering suggestions made by seniors.

Cowley said the administration has been cooperative with the students' desires. "They worked with us and gave us a lot of leeway and respected the opinions we brought to the table."

Howard Tyler, senior marshal and chairman of the Senior Class Communications Committee, said the gift committee considered many qualities when sifting through the suggestions.

"We (were) looking at candidates of diverse backgrounds and ideas," he said. "(We want) anyone that can convey a positive message to the senior class that charges them as they enter the real world."

The next step in the process will be a decision by Chancellor James Moeser, who has received the list of potential speakers. "We now give the chancellor the opportunity to look over the choices and approve," Cowley said. "We are approaching the final selection."

Cowley was unable to provide a specific date for the selection, but he said it is in the final stages.

Money is tight this year in student government, but Cowley said funding will not be a factor in choosing the Commencement speaker. "Generally, the University policy is that we don't pay people to come speak," Cowley said. "We will most likely offer an honorary degree."

Seniors will now have to hold their breaths until the choice is announced, but meanwhile, Cowley said the committee will make sure the final candidate is of the highest quality. "We want someone the (seniors) can relate to who can communicate well," he said. "We want the students to know, respect and enjoy the speaker."

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