Announcing Joyce Carol Oates as Speaker for 2018 Graduation Ceremony

April 4, 2018

Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty at Columbia University School of the Arts, has announced that renowned writer Joyce Carol Oates will speak at this year’s Celebration of Graduates, to be held Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 2 pm in Miller Theatre on the Morningside Campus. Ms. Oates will salute the School’s MFA graduates in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, and MA graduates in Film and Media Studies.


Sam Lipsyte, Chair of the Writing Program, said, “Joyce Carol Oates has been one of America's leading writers for over 50 years, but she's also been an influential and inspiring educator and an important ethical voice. We are delighted to have her as a commencement speaker, and it really couldn't come at a better time."


Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.


"The quality, quantity, depth and range of Joyce Carol Oates' writing is an inspiration to our students,” said Dean Becker. “She brings together brilliance, endurance, and hard work. We are thrilled that she agreed to be our speaker this year."