CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin to speak at Macalester Commencement

Courtesy of CNN

St. Paul, Minn. – Lawyer, author and legal expert Jeffrey Toobin, a senior analyst for CNN Worldwide and a staff writer at The New Yorker, will deliver the commencement speech for the 2013 Macalester College graduation ceremony. Abass Noor is the senior class speaker.  Noor, born in Somalia and raised in New Hope, Minn., is a Biology/Biochemistry major and Chemistry minor, with a Community and Global Health concentration.

Commencement will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at the college. Macalester will be streaming commencement at  Check back for updates.

Before joining CNN in 2002, Toobin was at ABC News, where he provided insight into the nation’s most provocative and high profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson civil trial and the Kenneth Starr investigation of the Clinton White House. Toobin received a 2001 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzales custody saga.

Toobin has covered legal affairs at The New Yorker since 1993. He has written articles on such subjects as Attorney General John Ashcroft, the 2001 dispute over Florida’s votes for president, the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the trial of Timothy McVeigh. His article, An Incendiary Defense, published in the July 25, 1994, issue of the magazine, broke the news that the O.J. Simpson defense team planned to accuse Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence and to play “the race card.”

“Jeffrey Toobin has long been a voice of reason when it comes to deciphering complicated legal issues, cases and trials,” said Macalester President Brian Rosenberg.  “Over the last few years, Jeffrey has spent time here speaking to the Macalester community about the Obama White House, the Supreme Court and other newsworthy issues.  We’re honored to call him a friend.”

Previously, Toobin served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer’s First Case—United States v. Oliver North.

Toobin has written several critically acclaimed, best-selling books including A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President; The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson; and Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election

His most recent book is The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court. His book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, spent more than four months on the New York Times best-seller list and earned the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Toobin earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

This year’s honorary degree recipient, Janet Beckmann, has published two books on nursing malpractice and was dean of the University of AlabamaHuntsville’s School of Nursing before working as a consultant in the field to advance health care quality. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Emory University and a doctorate in education and physiology from the University of Washington. In addition to Beckmann’s contributions to the nursing field, she has generously supported Macalester’s mission and core values by setting up two endowed funds in honor of her parents.

Commencement ceremonies will include an academic procession led by the Macalester Pipe Band, flag bearers representing 46 countries of the 66 graduating international seniors plus the U.S. and U.N. flags, faculty in academic robes and the 534 seniors.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,035 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

March 29 2013

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