'Too many Americans have nightmares instead of dreams,' NAACP CEO tells grads

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - "Too many Americans have nightmares instead of dreams," NAACP President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Gordon told 594 graduates Sunday at his alma mater, Gettysburg College.

"None of us are well off when many of us are not," said Gordon, a 1968 graduate of Gettysburg College. "There are great disparities in this country. They are unacceptable to me and should be to you. Those who have little should be your concern. In America, we must think of these problems as our problems."

Gordon, the only African American in his graduating class 38 years ago, praised progress at Gettysburg College where the student body and faculty are more diverse and a campus chapter of the NAACP now exists.

Gordon has led the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization since June 2005. Gordon was president of Verizon Communications' Retail Markets Group before retiring in 2003. His work earned him "Executive of the Year" honors from Black Enterprise magazine, and Fortune magazine ranked him sixth in its list of the "50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America" in 2000.

The Camden, N.J., native earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology and sociology at Gettysburg College and a master's from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served on the boards of major corporations and the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and as a Gettysburg College trustee.

Sunday's commencement was the 171st at Gettysburg College, a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With a student body of approximately 2,600, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

Issued 05/21/06


Posted: Fri, 2 Jun 2006

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