Guinier Will Give Class Day Speech
Harvard Graduate Confirms Selection
Lani C. Guinier '71 confirmed that she will speak at the 1994 Class Day exercises in an interview with The Crimson yesterday.
Guinier, who drew the national spotlight this summer when President Clinton reversed her nomination for assistant attorney general for civil rights, said she welcomes the opportunity to share her ideas with the graduating class.
She said she has not decided the subject of her speech, but she hopes listeners will base their judgement on information instead of sound bites.
"I always thought if I had an opportunity to be heard my ideas would be evaluated on their merits," Guinier said.
Members of the 25 person Senior Class Committee which selects Class Day speakers extended the offer to Guinier because "she had a lot of insights to offer," said Wes M. Hill '94, a first marshal on the committee.
But Guinier was specifically not asked to speak about a particular topic, Hill said.
The committee made its decision independent of the University's choice to invite president Al Gore '69 as Commencement speaker.
Committee members said they did not foresee any real problems between Guinier and Gore, according to Hill.
Although Guinier was very friendly with the Clintons before her nomination ordeal, she said yesterday that she never knew Gore.
"To the best of my recollection, Al Gore and I have not had a substantive conversation," she said. "I hope we have an opportunity to talk."
The committee selected Guinier after considering responses from senior suggestion sheets which were used to from a final list of possible speakers.
Committee members would not comment on whether Guinier was their first choice for Class Day speaker or on who the other finalists were.