ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca College has announced its commencement speakers for its May celebration, inviting Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women and an Ithaca College graduate to address the event, as well as graduating senior Letícia Guibunda, VP of campus affairs for the Student Governance Council.

The school calls Katz “the leader of one of the nation’s largest faith-base grassroots organizations focused on social and gender justice.” She graduated from the school in 2005. The ceremony will be held at the Glazer Arena of the Athletics and Events Center on May 22 at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., both in-person and streaming live (more info here).

Katz has led the NCJW since 2019, and previously served as VP of student engagement and leadership at Hillel International, the parent organization of the prominent Hillel organizations on college campuses.

“We are excited to be celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating class and look forward to hearing from our distinguished guests at this year’s Commencement,” said Ithaca College President La Jerne Terry Cornish. “It is our great honor and pleasure to recognize individuals whose talents, expertise, and platforms demonstrate the mission, vision, and values of Ithaca College.”

Additionally, the school will celebrate Amy Goodman, the founder and host of independent progressive news radio program “Democracy Now!” and Jeff White, an Academy Award-winning visual effects creator in Hollywood and a 1998 IC graduate, with honorary doctorates. Goodman was also one of the first winners of the Izzy Awards in 2009, presented by the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College.

“The granting of honorary degrees by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the faculty recognizes leaders who represent the ideals embraced by the Ithaca College community and who serve as a mirror of the college’s values, mission, and character,” wrote the school in its announcements.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at