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'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Dr. Mandy K Cohen to deliver Wake Forest’s commencement address

Reverend Gary Dorrien will join Dr. Cohen as the Baccalaureate speaker
Dr. Mandy K. Cohen. (Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Dr. Mandy K. Cohen. (Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Dr. Mandy K. Cohen will deliver Wake Forest’s 2024 commencement address on Monday, May 20 on Hearn Plaza. 

Cohen serves as the Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is one of the nation’s top health leaders with experience in leading vast organizations. Cohen was valued for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic when she led the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She also had a large impact on the improvement of North Carolina’s Medicaid program through the state’s Medicaid expansion and her focus on “whole person health.”

“As a physician and leader, Dr. Cohen has dedicated her career to improving health and wellbeing in North Carolina and nationwide,” Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente said in a Wake Forest article.

Baccalaureate speaker Reverend Gary Dorrien will also be joining Cohen on commencement weekend. Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of religion at Columbia University. He teaches social ethics, theology and philosophy of religion. He is also the author of 21 books and over 300 articles on the fields of social ethics, philosophy, theology, political economics, social and political theory, religious history, cultural criticism and intellectual history.

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Cohen and Dorrien are the second pair of speakers selected by Wake Forest’s Commencement Speaker Committee, which launched in 2022. The committee is composed of students, faculty and staff who nominate speakers and submit them to Wente each year.

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About the Contributor
Claire O’Brien
Claire O’Brien, News Editor
Claire is a sophomore from West Hartford, Conn. majoring in English and minoring in journalism. Outside of the OGB, she is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and a student worker at the Writing Center. In her free time, you can find her going on a run or trying a new restaurant.

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    SeniorFeb 27, 2024 at 11:45 am

    Dr. Cohen will certainly provide some insightful remarks, and I’m not sure if I speak for everyone here, but as a Senior, I really hope she doesn’t make her whole speech about COVID. As a year, I think we have all moved on and would rather our class not be defined by COVID anymore, so hopefully that’s not the focus of her address.