March 06, 2008

Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, to deliver Case Western Reserve University's commencement address

Double alumnus' international online community has turned the classified advertising business on its ear

Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative of the Internet classified ad giant and a double alumnus of Case Western Reserve University, will deliver the keynote address at its commencement ceremonies, Sunday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. in the Veale Athletic and Recreation Center.

Because of the phenomenal success of craigslist—an online community which receives more than 9 billion page views per month—Newmark, who received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Case Western Reserve in the mid-1970s, was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2005. In addition, his brainchild serves more than 30 million visitors from 450 cities and 50 countries per month, putting it in 56th place overall among Web sites worldwide and ninth place overall among Web sites in the United States. The craigslist site features a wide variety of postings—including notices for jobs, housing, personals, services and events, as well as space for online discussion forums.

"I am so pleased that Craig Newmark has agreed to be our commencement speaker," President Barbara R. Snyder said. "His entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with the philanthropic commitment evident in his Craigslist Foundation, makes him an ideal person to advise our graduates as they move on to the next phase in their lives."

A 55-year-old native of Morristown, N.J., Newmark began craigslist while working as a freelance software developer in San Francisco. He created an e-mail list to tell his friends about art-and-technology parties he thought were cool. Those friends forwarded the e-mail to others, and soon the list became the de facto grapevine for the Bay Area's "Geek Establishment." New readers sent Newmark their own bits, and the list's utility grew with its membership. Newmark has said in several media interviews that he only had the one idea to create the list, but that the content comes from the community.

Newmark is a fierce proponent of keeping the Internet as free as possible. All listings on the site are free, except for help wanted ads in select cities and paid broker apartment listings in New York City.

Undergraduates, graduates and professional school students will have their degrees conferred at the Commencement Convocation. Following the convocation, diplomas will be presented during separate ceremonies at each student's respective school. Receptions will follow to honor new graduates.

Learn more about Case Western Reserve's commencement ceremonies at

For more information contact Laura M. Massie, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 6, 2008 11:20 AM | News Topics: Alumni, Campus Life, Events, HeadlinesMain, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.