Antonio Delgado ’99, the U.S. Congressional Representative for the 19th District of New York, will deliver the commencement address to Colgate’s bicentennial class and their families at graduation this spring. The announcement was made via a broadcast email to the Colgate community on Monday, February 25.
Delgado graduated from Colgate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa as a double concentrator in philosophy and political science. He went on to attend Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, earning a degree in the university’s Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program. He later received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2005.
An Upstate New York native, Delgado is currently serving as the U.S. Representative for the 19th District of the State of New York. He was elected to office this past November, and is the first African-American or Hispanic representative from the area to serve in Congress. Prior to politician, Delgado added hip-hop artist and litigator for law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to his resume.
“In my opinion, he represents the future and I am honored he is returning to ’Gate,” SGA President senior Jenny Lundt said.
The commencement speaker is selected by the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Civic Awards, part of the University Governance system and a standing committee within the Board of Trustees.
Senior Class President Justin Kunz sat on the Commencement Speaker Committee. “After receiving nominations and polling the senior class, we determined that many people wanted a speaker who was involved in activism and politics,” Kunz said.
Seniors said they are excited about the announcement in anticipation of their upcoming graduation.
“I followed Delgado’s race closely and am excited to see him talk,” senior Pauline Silsby said.
Delgado will also receive an honorary Colgate degree at the ceremony alongside five other distinguished recipients: Nick Cave, Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17, P’20, Ellen Malcolm, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Jung Pak ’96.
Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 19.