Roger Federer to speak at Dartmouth graduation

Retired tennis player Roger Federer hits an autographed ball to spectators during a Federer's fan day, a side event of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Retired tennis player Roger Federer hits an autographed ball to spectators during a Federer's fan day, a side event of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) Andy Wong

Published: 03-28-2024 4:33 PM

HANOVER — Swiss tennis great Roger Federer will deliver the commencement address at Dartmouth’s 2024 graduation ceremony, the college announced Thursday. Federer will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the June 9 event.

One of the most successful men’s tennis players in the history of the sport, Federer has won 20 Grand Slam titles and for 310 weeks was ranked the No. 1 player in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He also received a gold medal in doubles tennis at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He retired from the sport in 2022 at age 41. 

Federer also is a prolific philanthropist. In 2003, he founded the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports early childhood education in six countries in southern Africa and in Switzerland. 

Playing on Federer’s preference for competing on grass courts, Dartmouth released a promotional video Thursday in which President Sian Leah Beilock and an actor portraying a college groundskeeper exchanged tennis puns as they fretted over the condition of the grass on the Dartmouth Green.

Federer is the second professional athlete to deliver a Dartmouth commencement speech in recent years. Quarterback Russell Wilson, whose father is a Dartmouth alumnus, spoke in 2022 on the theme of “why not you?,” urging graduates to adopt a “winner’s mentality.”

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