Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 14, 2001–Williams College has announced that Robert E. Rubin, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury will be the principal speaker at the college’s 212th Commencement on Sunday, June 3. Mr. William H. Gray, III, president of United Negro College Fund will be the baccalaureate speaker on Saturday, June 2.
ROBERT E. RUBIN
Mr. Rubin was Secretary of the Treasury from Jan. 1995 until July 1999. He is given much of the credit for the Clinton administration’s economic policies, including the budget cuts that helped set the nation on course for the first balanced budget in decades and helping to deal with the financial crises in Asia. He was a staunch defender of a strong U.S. dollar and trade balance.
From the beginning of his tenure, he insisted that administration policies be defensible to budget experts and the financial markets. He warned that booms could not last forever, that nobody has repealed the business cycle.
Although he described the Internet as “one of the most important economic, cultural, and social events” of his lifetime, he warned, “There has been and still is a belief held by too many that the so-called New Economy has repealed the laws of human nature and economics; the rules of economics still apply. Number one among the rules is that businesses need to be profitable.”
He stepped down to become chairman of the executive committee of the Board of Directors of Citigroup, Inc., the world’s largest financial company.
From 1993 to 1995, he served in the White House as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. In that capacity, he directed the activities of the National Economic Council.
Prior to joining the administration, Mr. Rubin spent three decades on Wall Street. He joined Goldman Sachs & Co. in 1966, and successfully managed the firm’s stock and bond trading departments, and revived its commodities subsidiary. He was named to its management committee in 1980. Rubin was vice chairman and co-chief operating officer from 1987 to 1990 and served as co-senior partner and co-chairman from 1990 to 1992. Before joining Goldman, he was an attorney at the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York City.
He continues to maintain his personal involvement in public policy issues, including serving as chairman of the Local Initiative Support Corporation, and as a member of the Board of Mt. Sinai Medical Center. His previous activities included membership on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, Harvard Management Company, New York Futures Exchange, New York City Partnership, and the Center of National Policy. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, among others.
A product of public schools, Mr. Rubin graduated from Harvard College in 1960 with an A.B. in economics. He received a L.L.B. from Yale Law School in 1964 and attended the London School of Economics.
WILLIAM H. GRAY III
Mr. Gray has been president and chief executive officer of The College Fund/United Negro College Fund since Sept. 1991. As head of America’s oldest and most successful black higher education assistance organization, Mr. Gray has led the United Negro College Fund to new fund raising records while cutting costs and expanding programs and services to a consortium of 39 private, accredited four-year historically black colleges and universities.
William Gray III
Prior to his selection as president of UNCF, he served in the U.S. Congress. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1978, Gray was the first African American to chair the House Budget Committee. He also served as chairman of the Democratic Caucus and as Majority Whip. He was a leading advocate for strengthening America’s educational systems and co-sponsor of the Black College Act, which provides formula-driven federal funds for the enhancement of historically black college and universities programs, faculty, and facilities. He played a key role in implementing economic sanctions against South Africa as the author of the 1985 and 1986 sanction bills.
He also served as a special advisor on Haiti to the President of the United States in May 1994. In that role, Mr. Gray assisted the President in developing and carrying out policy to restore democracy to Haiti.
He has been a faculty member and professor of history and religion at St. Peter’s College, Jersey City State College, Montclair State University, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Temple University.
Mr. Gray attended Franklin and Marshall College, where he earned a B.A. in 1963. He received a master’s degree in divinity from Drew Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in theology in 1970 from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has been in the ministry since 1964, when he pastored his first church, Union Baptist Church of Montclair, N.J.
He is the recipient of many awards, including the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom of Worship Medal, and was listed in the December 1999 issue of Ebony Magazine as one of the 100 Most Important Blacks in the World in the 20th Century.