Featured Commencement speaker Vice President Al Gore '69 has not yet chosen a topic, but his speech will likely focus on either American or international politics, President Neil L. Rudenstine said yesterday.
"He has lots of thoughts. We generally give people carte blanche," Rudenstine said. "I think it will be both interesting and maybe surprising."
Rudenstine, who confirmed on behalf of Harvard yesterday that Gore would be the Primary Commencement speaker, said he was very pleased at the choice of Gore to speak.
"I think it's excellent," Rudenstine said. "He's very excited to do it."
"Vice President Gore is one of our nation's most thoughtful and creative public leaders," Rudenstine said in a press release yesterday. "[W]e very much look forward to welcoming him back to Cambridge as a friend, distinguished guest and Commencement speaker."
In a interview yesterday, Rudenstine said it is particularly appropriate that Gore speak this year.
"It's a combination of his 25th reunion, and of course he also has a daughter here," Rudenstine said. "And he just finished being on Overseer. So for all sorts of reasons he feels close to Harvard."
Gore graduated from Harvard College cum laude in 1969 with a degree in government.
Other recent Commencement Speakers include Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, West German Chancellor Helmut kohl and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin L. Powell.
Powell's speech last year sparked a protest because of the military's ban on gay servicepeople.