Mount Mercy announces Commencement speaker

Mount Mercy University has announced that Gary Hirshberg, President and CEO of Stonyfield Farm and Chairman of Climate Counts, will serve as the University's Commencement speaker during the graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Hirshberg, an active leader in the environmental sustainability movement for more than 30 years, has been a strong activist for making a future that is green and renewable for a better world. He is an expert on sustainability and has overseen the growth of Stonyfield Farm from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school in 1983, to the largest manufacturer of organic yogurt in the world. The green practices he has advocated and followed for decades have helped reduce his organization's carbon footprint, cut down on trash and packaging, and convert waste to energy.

"Gary Hirshberg's unflagging desire to increase awareness on environmental initiatives serves as a natural complement to Mount Mercy's dedication to renewing campus-wide sustainability initiatives," says Mount Mercy President Christopher Blake. "Honoring the University's commitment to one of the core tenants of the Sisters of Mercy is a vital component of Mount Mercy's mission, and we are excited to host Mr. Hirshberg during Commencement 2011."

Fast Company magazine named Hirshberg one of the top ten, "most inspiring people in sustainable food." Hirshberg has also been showcased in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Food Inc.

Recipient of the Global Green USA's Green Cross Millennium Award for Corporate Environmental Leadership, Hirshberg serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Peak Organic Brewing and Applegate Farms. His penchant for action is reflected in his work with Climate Counts, which unites consumers and companies in the fight against global climate change.

In his book, Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, Hirshberg demonstrates how companies can make sustainable investments while also improving the bottom line.

On topics ranging from green business and corporate social responsibility to the organic industry and eco-friendly farming, Hirshberg is known for his optimistic outlook and empowering message of sustainability.

Hirshberg is a New Hampshire native and was one of the first graduates of Hampshire College where he received six honorary doctorates and was named a Gordon Grant Fellow from Yale. 

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