I am very pleased to announce that Grammy Award winner Janis Ian has accepted my invitation to deliver the main address at our 2012 Commencement. The ceremony will be May 12 at 10 a.m. on Sunderland Lawn.
Some of you may know that Janis Ian and Warren Wilson College have forged strong ties over the past few years. In 2010 the Pearl Foundation, founded by Janis and named in honor of her late mother, established The Pearl Foundation Scholarship at Warren Wilson. Janis and her partner, Patricia Snyder, oversee the foundation. (See http://www.pearlfoundation.com/.) And this summer, Janis was one of several Grammy Award winners who taught and performed at The Swannanoa Gathering during its 20th anniversary meetings on our campus.
Although well known as a singer-songwriter, Janis also is a magazine columnist and science fiction author. Her autobiography, “Society’s Child,” received much acclaim upon its publication in 2008. She has received several Grammy nominations and in 1975 won “Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female” for her huge hit record “At Seventeen.” On Oct. 11, 1975, she and Billy Preston were the first musical guests on the debut of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
I know that you will join me in welcoming Janis Ian back to our campus for, if you will, our own “Saturday Morning Live” on May 12, 2012.