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World-Renowned Public Health Advocate John R. Garrison to Address Graduates at 2016 Albright College Commencement

Feb. 24, 2016

John R. Garrison, Commencement speaker

Reading, Pa. – Approximately 260 traditional students, 50 Accelerated Degree Programs (ADP) students, and 11 master’s degree students will receive their Albright College diplomas at Commencement on Sunday, May 22, at 10 a.m., on the College’s Science Field.

World-renowned public health advocate John R. Garrison will deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree.

A national leader in the battle against the tobacco industry and in the fight for clean air, Garrison was the only voluntary health association executive to oppose giving the tobacco industry legal immunity during the industry’s 1997 tobacco settlement negotiations with the state attorneys general. This led former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to describe him as “a man of integrity not easily swayed by public opinion.” 

From 1990 through 2001, Garrison served as chief executive officer of the American Lung Association, the country’s oldest national volunteer health agency. Prior to that he was the CEO of Easter Seals, serving from 1978 to 1990. Today, Garrison heads his own consulting business, J.R. Garrison and Associates. He is currently under contract to provide Cherish Our Children International, a global humanitarian organization, the leadership it seeks to make it a major player on the world scene.

An honorary degree will also be presented at Commencement to Jay S. Sidhu, chairman and CEO of Customers Bank, and to Sonia Sanchez, a nationally recognized poet, professor and activist.

A Baccalaureate service will be held the day prior, on Saturday, May 21, at 4 p.m., in Memorial Chapel. Albright trustee Chris G. Kraras ’69, president and CEO of White Star Tours and several other companies, will deliver the Baccalaureate sermon.

For more information: www.albright.edu/commencement/.


Founded in 1856, Albright College is a selective, national liberal arts college enrolling 1,700 full-time undergraduates and more than 800 adult learners and graduate students. The College’s flexible interdisciplinary curriculum, strengthened by a close-knit residential learning environment, encourages students to combine majors and disciplines to create individualized academic programs. Close faculty mentorship, numerous experiential learning options, and a diverse, supportive community of scholars and learners help students exceed their own expectations and graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of service and learning. Albright College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania.