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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Will Deliver Keynote Address at 58th Annual Spring Commencement

(April 19, 2005) -- Wilkes University's spring commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. on campus.


Environmental advocate, attorney and political activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., will deliver the keynote address at Wilkes University’s 58th annual spring commencement on Saturday, May 21, 2005. Wilkes will present Kennedy with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

In light of plans for riverfront development in Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes invited Kennedy to deliver the commencement address because of his focus on river ecology and environmental advocacy.

Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped spawn more than 125 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe.

Mr. Kennedy serves as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Riverkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City. He has worked on several political campaigns including the presidential campaigns of Edward M. Kennedy in 1980, Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

The son of former Attorney General and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of slain President John F. Kennedy, RFK Jr has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.

He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress.

Among Kennedy’s published books are The New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004) The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr: A Biography (1977). His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside Magazine, The Village Voice, and many other publications. His award winning articles have been included in anthologies of America’s Best Crime Writing, Best Political Writing and Best Science Writing.

Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation he attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a master’s degree in Environmental Law.
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