Hello everyone and many thanks for those kind words of introduction. I am absolutely thrilled to be standing here today, in front of you all, receiving this honorary degree. Although, I must admit that the use of the word “honor” makes me wince. If anyone deserves to be honored here today it is not me, who has arrived for a day – but instead the students who have worked so hard to get this degree, over so many years; and the families who have supported them. You are the real honorees here today, and to each of you I offer my hearty, humble congratulations and my applause.
Now, I expect that some of you in the audience today might be wondering why it is that I am standing at this podium, here in Citi field. After all, I am not American. I did not go to Baruch, or any American college. I certainly never played for the Mets and do not aspire to run New York, like Christine Quinn, last year’s speaker. Instead, as you may have guessed from my accent, I am British – or, more accurately, I am a global citizen, since I have spent most of my life working outside the UK, first as an anthropologist and then as a journalist for the Financial Times, which is one of the world’s leading global news organizations.