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May 04, 2016

Who's speaking at area commencements in 2016

They come from every walk of life and achievement. The first Latina lawyer in Pennsylvania. The mayor of Rome. Three local television news personalities. The CEO who keeps your lights on. The creator of the hottest show on Broadway. The researcher who helped discover pulsars. A governor named Tom and a president named Barack. And so many distinguished others.

The men and women delivering commencement addresses to area graduates in the coming days and weeks, and receiving honorary degrees, are an impressive roster, presented in no particular order:


Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award-winning composer, lyricist and performer, will speak at the University of Pennsylvania's 260th commencement ceremony on May 16 at 10:15 a.m. at Franklin Field. Miranda's current musical, "Hamilton" – the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner in drama, with book, music and lyrics by Miranda, who also played the title role – opened on Broadway in 2015 following a sold-out run at New York’s Public Theater. He will receive an honorary doctor of arts degree.

Hawa Abdi

Hawa Abdi, a Somali human rights activist and physician and Somalia’s first female gynecologist, will receive an honorary doctor of sciences degree. She is the founder and chairperson of the nonprofit Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, which she runs with her two physician daughters. Its mission is to create access to basic human rights for Somalis through sustainable institutions in health care, education, agriculture and social entrepreneurship.

Elizabeth Bailey

Elizabeth E. Bailey, the John C. Hower professor emeritus of business economics and public policy at Penn’s Wharton School, will receive an honorary doctor of sciences degree from the university. She is recognized for her decades of research on economic regulation and deregulation, contestability theory, market structure and corporate governance and social responsibility. After joining Wharton in 1991, she served as professor and chair of the Department of Business and Public Policy before retiring in 2010.

David Brooks

David Brooks, a journalist, commentator and author, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and serve as Penn's 2016 baccalaureate speaker. He has been an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003, writing on a broad range of sociological, cultural, political and moral issues. For nearly two decades, he has appeared as a commentator on “The PBS Newshour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Renee Fleming

Renée Fleming, the Grammy-winning opera and classical performing artist, will receive an honorary doctor of music degree. Fleming has graced the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls with her sumptuous soprano and compelling stage presence. Her recitals have spanned five continents; she notably performed at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural celebration, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the 2014 Super Bowl, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and at the Brandenburg Gate on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Jim Gates Jr.

Sylvester James “Jim” Gates Jr., an American theoretical physicist known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory, will receive an honorary doctor of sciences degree. The John S. Toll professor of physics and director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland, Gates is the recipient of two Bachelor of Science degrees and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis was the first at MIT to deal with supersymmetry.

Asma Jahangir

Asma Jahangir, a human rights activist and lawyer and founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Throughout her career, Jahangir has defended the most vulnerable Pakistani citizens – women, children, religious minorities and the poor. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, in 2014, she was awarded an Officier de la Légion d'honneur by France. She is the author of two books: “Divine Sanction? The Hudood Ordinance” and “Children of a Lesser God: Child Prisoners of Pakistan.”

Eric Kandel

Eric R. Kandel, professor at Columbia and director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University, will receive an honorary doctor of sciences degree. He is a neuroscientist whose work has sought to illuminate the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory and the editor of "Principles of Neural Science," the field’s standard textbook. His 2006 book for the general public, "In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind," won both the Los Angeles Times and National Academy of Science awards for best book in science and technology and resulted in a film documentary.


Donna Shalala

Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D., president of the Clinton Foundation, former president of the University of Miami and former U.S. secretary of health and human services, will address the class of 2016 at Drexel’s commencement on June 11 at Citizens Bank Park. It will be the first university-wide commencement in the school's history.

Shalala has more than 40 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator. Prior to her appointment at the Clinton Foundation, she was president of the University of Miami. During her tenure, Miami solidified its position among top U.S. research universities. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her U.S. secretary of health and human services, where she served for eight years, becoming the longest-serving HHS secretary in U.S. history. At the end of her tenure, a Washington Post article described her as “one of the most successful government managers of modern times.”


Phillip C. Richards, founder and executive chairman of the board of the Minneapolis-based North Star Resource Group, will address graduates at Temple University's 129th commencement on May 6 at 10 a.m. at the Liacouras Center on campus. He will receive a doctor of humane letters degree. Richards, a 1962 graduate of the Fox School of Business at Temple, acquired North Star in 1969, and under his leadership, it has grown to a $55 million firm that manages more than $6 billion in client assets. He was elected a Temple University trustee in 2009.

Mari Carmen Aponte, a senior adviser in the United States Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, also will receive a doctor of humane letters degree. She was the United States ambassador to El Salvador from 2012 to February 2016. The first Puerto Rican woman to hold the title of ambassador, Aponte earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Rosemont College. Following a period as an educator in Camden, New Jersey, she enrolled in Temple's Beasley School of Law and earned a J.D. in 1975. The first Latina lawyer in Pennsylvania, she moved to Washington, D.C. in 1979 when President Jimmy Carter appointed her a White House fellow.


Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross and a 1978 alumnus, will deliver the commencement address for Saint Joseph’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 14 at 9 a.m. on the university’s James J. Maguire Campus.

Daniel J. Hilferty, left, and Jim Gardner

Hilferty, a former member of the university’s board of trustees, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Also receiving degrees will be Jane Golden, founder and executive director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; Paul J. and Margaret Hondros, founders of the SJU Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support; and Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., former SJU president (2003-11) and Creighton University president (2011-2015).

Jim Gardner, a longtime 6ABC “Action News” reporter and anchor, will speak at the graduate, doctoral and degree completion ceremony at 3 p.m. He and the Rev. William G. Donovan, Ph.D., pastor of St. Agnes in West Chester, who recently served as the Archbishop of Philadelphia’s liaison to the Pontifical Council for Family for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, will receive honorary doctor of humane letters degrees. Donovan is a 1981 graduate.


Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel, a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation, will address Cabrini College's Class of 2016 at its undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 22. Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He has worked with governments, social sector organizations and college and university campuses to help realize a future where religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. He is a regular contributor to the public conversation around religion in America and a frequent speaker on the topic of religious pluralism.


George Raveling

George Raveling, a 1960 graduate of Villanova, will deliver the commencement address to Villanova University graduates during exercises on May 13 at 4 p.m. in Villanova Stadium and will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. The current director of International Basketball for Nike and a former men’s college basketball coach, Raveling received an athletic scholarship to attend Villanova, where he led the Wildcats in rebounding from 1958-60. He graduated from Villanova with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and began a career as a marketing analyst for Sun Oil Co. A few years later, Raveling returned to Villanova as an assistant coach and became known as a proficient recruiter. He coached several high-profile programs. He is not only known for making history by breaking down racial barriers as a coach but also was part of history when, in 1963, he received the original copy of Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Also receiving honorary doctor of humane letters degrees are Sister Tesa Fitzgerald and Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson.

Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is a Sister of St. Joseph, an educator and humanitarian. In 1985, after becoming a foster parent to eight children of incarcerated mothers, Sister Tesa turned St. Rita’s Convent in Long Island City into a home for children with mothers in prison, with the goal of maintaining the bond between families during incarceration. She later founded Hour Children, a nonprofit organization based in Queens, New York, that helps incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

Turkson is the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast, Ghana. Born in 1948 in Ghana, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1975 and has held various roles since his ordination, including acting chaplain and lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, visiting lecturer at the Catholic Major Seminary and chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana since 2003. In October 1992, Turkson was appointed archbishop of Cape Coast and received episcopal ordination in March 1993. Ten years later, Pope John Paul II named him to the Sacred Council of Cardinals. In September 2013, he was confirmed by Pope Francis as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.


Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe

Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe, interim rabbi at Moses Montefiore Temple in Bloomington, Illinois, will deliver the commencement address to graduates at Delaware Valley University on May 14 on the campus green. A leader of the Jewish deaf community, Dubowe is the first woman who is deaf to be ordained a rabbi. She felt the call to the rabbinate during two trips to Israel as a young woman. After completing two years at California State University, Northridge, she transferred to the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish studies. She enrolled at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the nation’s main Reform rabbinical seminary, where she earned a Master of Arts in Hebrew letters. A scholar and biographer of Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, who founded Delaware Valley University, Dubowe wrote her master’s thesis on 100 of his sermons.

George Ball, chairman and CEO of the Burpee Seed Co., will receive an honorary doctor of science degree, and William Schutt, an engineer, businessman, founder of MATCOR Inc. and a patron of the arts, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.


Constance Williams

Constance H. Williams, chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s board of trustees, will address the graduating class at the college’s 143rd commencement ceremony on May 13 at 10 a.m. on the campus lawn.

Williams, who will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree, is widely known throughout the Philadelphia region for her service in education and the arts, as well as for her leadership in economic development.

Wayne W. Meisel, director of the Center for Faith and Service at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, will offer the baccalaureate address on May 12 and receive an honorary doctor of divinity degree. 


The Hon. Kevin M. Dougherty, justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, will deliver the commencement speech to Chestnut Hill College graduates on May 14 at 10:30 a.m. under the Grand Tent on campus.

Dougherty, who was elected to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in November 2015, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Previously, he was administrative judge of the Trial Division, 1st Judicial District, overseeing the state's largest civil and criminal trial court system. He also was administrative judge of Philadelphia Family Court for nearly a decade, where he implemented major reforms to better serve vulnerable and at-risk citizens.

From left: John Haught, Ph.D., Hon. James J. Fitzgerald and Carol McCullough Fitzgerald

Also receiving honorary degrees will be John F. Haught, Ph.D., a distinguished research professor at Georgetown University, doctor of human letters; Carol McCullough Fitzgerald, a former member of the college’s board of directors, doctor of laws; and the Hon. James J. Fitzgerald III, senior judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, doctor of laws.


Three alumni of West Chester University will offer commencement addresses during ceremonies at the university on May 7, 8 and 9.

Kathy Ochse, senior director of client services at StudioPost Operations, a Universal Studios post-production facility in Universal City, California, will speak to graduates of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Visual & Performing Arts on May 7. A 1989 graduate of West Chester University, she has 25 years of experience in leadership and management of post-production customer service, project management and operations teams. She is in her 16th year with NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corp.

Katherine Stahl, clinical associate professor of reading and director of the Literacy Clinic at New York University, will speak to graduates of the Colleges of Business & Public Affairs, Education and Health Sciences on May 8. A 1976 graduate of West Chester, she studies the effective instruction of reading in the elementary years and is committed to improving student achievement and school effectiveness, especially in urban settings. A vigorous scholar, she is a recipient of the Jeanne S. Chall Visiting Researcher Award from Harvard University and the Teaching Excellence Award from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

Joanne Finegan, MSA, CTRS, FDRT, is CEO of U.S. Community Behavioral, Embassy Management LLC, and president of ReMed, an organization providing treatment and supported living for individuals who have experienced traumatic brain injuries. A certified therapeutic recreation specialist, she is a vigorous advocate for both the field of therapeutic recreation and for people with disabilities. She has worked continuously on educating others on the impact and lifelong effects of brain injuries. Finegan earned a Master of Administration degree from West Chester University in 1990.


Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D.

Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services since 2012, will deliver the commencement address and receive the Immaculata Medal at ceremonies for graduates on May 15 in the Villa Maria quadrangle on Immaculata's campus.

Woo oversees the official international humanitarian agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is one of the world’s largest and most respected international relief and development agencies, reaching more than 85 million people in 101 countries on five continents. Previously, she was dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business for 14 years.

Walt Hunter

Walt Hunter, an investigative reporter for "Eyewitness News" on CBS-3 in Philadelphia, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. He has earned numerous awards and honors, including 16 Philadelphia Emmy Awards, with the most recent in 2014 in the “Crime News” category. He has also been honored by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and the Philadelphia Press Association. Hunter is a 2007 inductee into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. He is a native of Philadelphia.


Rev. Gregory Boyle, SJ

The Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, will serve as the 2016 commencement speaker at Rosemont College on May 7. He will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Boyle is a member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and was ordained a priest in 1984. In 1986, he was appointed pastor of Los Angeles' Dolores Mission Church, located in gang territory. In an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of at-risk, gang-involved youth, he and many parish and community members began to establish positive outlets, including an alternative school and a day care program, and sought legitimate employment for these young men and women. In the aftermath of the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, Boyle launched his first social enterprise business, Homeboy Bakery. Its success created the groundwork for additional social enterprises, including Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery, Homeboy & Homegirl Merchandise, Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Diner at Los Angeles City Hall and retail presence at farmers markets throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

The college also will award honorary doctor of humane letters degrees to Margaretta Richardi ’48, Delories Richardi ’53 and Charles John McGarvey Sr. ’01.

Margaretta Richardi, a supporter of Rosemont College for decades, was an assistant buyer at Gimbel Brothers in Philadelphia before joining the Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania in 1951 as a service representative. She spent four decades in management at Bell Telephone, eventually retiring in the 1980s from Verizon.

Delories Richardi, a longtime supporter and volunteer, was a service representative for the Bell Telephone Co. and became the editor of the company’s Commercial Department magazine. By 1974, she was a data systems analyst. She held other management roles until her retirement from Verizon in the 1980s.

McGarvey, an adult student of the School of Professional Studies, received his Bachelor of Science degree in management. He joined the Rosemont College community in 1989 as the director of public safety and became director of operations in 2001. A year later, he was promoted to assistant vice president of operations for the college. McGarvey is also a volunteer firefighter with 26 years of service and serves as chief fire officer for Lower Merion Township.


Two honorary degrees will be awarded during commencement exercises at Haverford College on May 14 on Roberts Hall Green.

Bob Greenstein

Bob Greenstein is the founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a policy institute in Washington, D.C., that works at federal and state levels on budget and tax policy and on programs and policies that affect people with low incomes. The center, whose core mission is to secure policies that reduce poverty and inequality, has played a central role in designing and securing enactment of key reforms and expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Food Stamp Program, Medicaid and other programs. He appears on national television news and public affairs programs and testifies frequently on Capitol Hill. His advice is sought frequently by policymakers in Congress and the administration.

Laura Magnani

Laura Magnani is the director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Bay Area Healing Justice Program in California and is an expert on solitary confinement. As a social activist and a national leader in the prison abolitionist movement, she has worked on criminal justice issues for more than 35 years. The author of numerous books and articles, she wrote "America's First Penitentiary: A 200-Year-Old Failure" in 2000 and co-authored "Beyond Prisons: A New Interfaith Paradigm for Our Failed Prison System" with Harmon Wray in 2006. A frequent commentator on criminal justice issues in the media, Magnani has also used art to educate the public on prison issues, convened a women’s group on healing from violence at the federal women’s prison in Dublin and spent decades organizing against solitary confinement.


Three honorary degrees will be awarded at Swarthmore College’s 144th commencement on May 29 in Scott Outdoor Amphitheater.

Leo Braudy

Film critic and cultural historian Leo Braudy, a 1963 Swarthmore graduate, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Currently a university professor as well as the Leo S. Bing chair in English and American literature at the University of Southern California, he teaches courses on Restoration literature and history, American culture after World War II, popular culture and film.

He is the author of nine books and the editor or co-editor of eight anthologies, including the forthcoming eighth edition of Film Theory and Criticism, the most widely used and cited anthology of critical writings about film since its publication in 1974. He is also the author of more than 100 articles and essays on a wide variety of subjects, popular as well as academic.

Terry Chapin

F. Stuart "Terry" Chapin III, a 1966 graduate of Swarthmore, will receive an honorary doctor of sciences degree. An ecosystem ecologist whose research addresses the sustainability and resilience of ecosystems and human communities in a rapidly changing planet, he is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research emphasizes the impacts of climate change on ecology. Chapin is the only Alaskan to hold an appointment to the National Academy of Sciences, which he achieved in 2004. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Much of his research is done in collaboration with his wife, Melissa "Mimi" Carroll Chapin, a fellow 1966 Swarthmore graduate. They continue activities and interests developed at Swarthmore, including the Outing Club, orchestra, chorus and civil rights.

Carol Padden

Carol Padden, a world-renowned scholar best known for her pioneering work on the language and culture of deaf communities, will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Born in Washington, D.C., as the second deaf child of deaf parents, she attended a school for the deaf on the campus of Gallaudet University, where her parents were both faculty members. Padden's research focuses on the structure and evolution of sign languages and cultural life in deaf communities. Padden has a long association with Swarthmore. Over the years, she has mentored students and continues to advise linguistics professor Donna Jo Napoli on both courses and campus events on deaf issues.


Dr. Marc Nivet, chief diversity officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, will deliver the commencement address to graduates of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University on May 9. Nivet leads the association’s Diversity Policy and Programs Department, which focuses on initiatives designed to increase diversity in medical education and advance health care equity. He and his staff analyze policy and regulatory activities related to diversity and inclusion, assist medical schools and teaching hospitals with diversity goals and serve as a liaison for diversity initiatives to membership organizations, government entities and other health organizations.

Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer and director of Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute, will speak at commencement exercises for the College of Science & Mathematics and School of Health Professions on May 10. He will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. An integral part of The Franklin Institute since 1978, Pitts designs and presents many of its public programs and exhibits. As the architect of numerous community science outreach programs, he has co-authored planetarium shows currently in worldwide distribution and since 1990, has created nationally distributed astronomy and space science content for WHYY. As “the face” and “voice” of the Institute for many years, Pitts appears regularly on national and international television networks as a science content expert and was the U.S. spokesperson for the International Astronomical Union’s International Year of Astronomy in 2010.

Robert O. Carr, founder and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems, will deliver the commencement address to graduates of the William G. Rohrer College of Business on May 11. He will receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree. Carr committed $1 million in 2015 to support university scholarships through his Give Something Back Foundation. The son of a waitress who worked the night shift to help support her family, he holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois. At 22, he was named president of the faculty and director of the computer center at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois. In 1972, he started a software and consulting firm for small and midsize businesses and later developed the first integrated accounting platform for a microcomputer. Carr founded Heartland Payments Systems, a debit and credit card transaction company, and led it from a modest startup with 25 employees in 1997 to a company that today employs some 3,300.

In addition, Raymond Conlin, 1997 Rowan graduate and chief operating officer of McCollister's Transportation, will receive the Medal of Excellence.

New Jersey State Sen. Fred Madden will speak to graduates during May 11 commencement ceremonies for the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. He will receive an honorary doctor of law degree. Elected to the Senate in 2003, Madden began his legislative service after a long law enforcement career, holding the rank of lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police and leading the force as acting superintendent. He has worked to protect children and has been a strong advocate for veterans and seniors. Madden holds an associate degree from Camden County College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Glassboro State College and a Master of Science degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

William Castner, a 1995 graduate of Rowan and senior vice president of corporate and regulatory affairs for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, will be recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Nicholas Paleologos, executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, will deliver the commencement address to the College of Communication & Creative Arts and College of Performing Arts on May 12.

He will be awarded the Medal of Excellence. A two-time Tony Award-winning producer whose credits include the London and Broadway productions of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the HBO film "In the Gloaming" and produced the Emmy-nominated "Lansky" for HBO. His motion picture credits include "Hurlyburly" and the Academy Award-nominated "Ghosts of Mississippi," and he’s produced documentaries for "Frontline" and "The American Experience" on PBS.

In addition, John Beck, professor emeritus of Eastman School of Music, will receive an honorary doctor of music degree.

Dr. Shaun Harper, founder and executive director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, will deliver the commencement address at the College of Education on May 12. He will receive the Medal of Excellence. Harper has authored 12 books, more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic works, and his research has been cited in more than 3,300 publications. His research examines race and gender in education and social contexts, equity trends and racial climates on college campuses, Black and Latino male student success in high school and higher education and college student engagement. He also occasionally writes about intercollegiate athletics. His newest book project, "Scandals in College Sports," is forthcoming this year. In 2015, he was appointed to President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper advisory council and was recognized in Education Week as one of the 50 most influential professors in the field of education.

Robert C. Braun, chief nuclear officer of PSEG Nuclear, the nuclear generating arm of PSEG Power, will be the keynote speaker during May 13 commencement exercises for the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering.

He will receive an honorary doctor of engineering degree. Previously, Braun was senior vice president and chief operating officer of PSEG Nuclear, a position he’d held since September 2012. He joined PSEG Nuclear in March 2007 as vice president of operations support and has more than 30 years of experience in commercial nuclear power operations. Braun earned his bachelor of mechanical engineering degree from Villanova University and holds a senior reactor operator license, a nuclear energy certification.

In addition, Dr. Devi Parikh, a 2005 Rowan graduate and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech University, will be awarded the Medal of Excellence.

Dr. John Becher, president of the American Osteopathic Association, will speak at the May 13 commencement for Rowan's School of Osteopathic Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. A leader in osteopathic medicine and an outstanding clinician with more than 40 years of experience, Becher is a board-certified emergency physician who serves as chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, from which he graduated in 1970. He is a Philadelphia native, teacher and mentor who created the nation’s first osteopathic emergency medicine program and has shaped the lives of countless medical students and residents.

In addition, New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney will receive a Medal of Excellence.

And Dr. Ira Monka, a 1984 graduate of Rowan and family medicine doctor at the Medical Institute of New Jersey, will be recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus.


Christopher G. Smith

Christopher G. Smith, a 1993 Eastern College graduate and Broadway composer and lyricist, will speak to graduates during commencement on May 7 on the Auxiliary Field at the St. David's Campus. He is the concept-creator, composer, lyricist and co-author of the libretto (with his mentor Arthur Giron) of the new Broadway musical "Amazing Grace," based on the life of John Newton. "Amazing Grace" is the first Broadway musical ever to feature, as its central plot, the spiritual redemption of an actual historical figure. It is also the first Broadway musical to depict the slave trade, including the first slave auction ever depicted on the Broadway stage. The show is also the only Broadway show in living memory in which the audience stands and sings with the cast, all without ever being asked or invited to do so. Smith is one of the only writers of his generation to have occupied the top position in all three writing disciplines of a Broadway show, even though he is completely self-taught.


Widener University will award three honorary awards during commencement ceremonies on May 20 and 21 in the Bown Garden behind Old Main on Widener’s main campus.

Michael Smerconish

Michael Smerconish, host of his own radio show on SiriusXM and CNN’s "Smerconish," will present the address for the undergraduate commencement and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Named one of America’s most important talk show hosts by Talkers magazine, he is a newspaper columnist and author, MSNBC contributor and is a frequent guest host on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews and other political programs. Before becoming a radio and television commentator, Smerconish practiced law for 10 years and still serves as counsel to Kline & Specter, a law firm in Philadelphia. At age 29, he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to a sub-Cabinet-level position, regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Marty Moss-Coane

Marty Moss-Coane, host and executive producer of WHYY’s "Radio Times," will present the graduate commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of public service degree. Known as a thought-provoking and balanced radio host, she has earned praise for her versatility and engaging conversations with guests during the live, two-hour program, which covers social issues, public policy, books, films and more. Moss-Coane became a familiar national name when she served as principal guest host for Terry Gross on “Fresh Air,” WHYY's daily national magazine of culture show. Over the last two years, she has moderated local election coverage, including candidate forums, debates and profiles.

Nicholas Trainer, chair of the Widener University board of trustees, will receive an honorary degree of public service at the graduate commencement. A 1964 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener University) with a degree in chemistry, Trainer launched his career working in sales for Hercules Inc., a chemical manufacturing company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He joined Sartomer Co. Inc. in 1969 as a technical sales representative and worked his way up to president of the company by 1976. Under his leadership, Sartomer’s annual sales revenue grew to more than $450 million when he retired in 2006. With 27 years on the board, he has played an important role in the growth of the university, directing the university’s first major capital campaign, Widener2000, which was responsible for the Leslie C. Quick Center.


Rutgers University – Camden will hold commencement exercises on May 18 and 19 at the BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbor Blvd. in Camden.

Dr. Wallena Gould, founder of the Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program and chief nurse anesthetist at Main Line Endoscopy Centers, is the keynote speaker for May 18 ceremonies for the School of Nursing. Gould mentors minority registered nurses to successfully matriculate into nurse anesthesia programs across the country. For the last 10 years, she has worked to increase minority enrollment in 54 out of 114 graduate nurse anesthesia programs. As a result, more than 400 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) who participated in her program were accepted and graduated from their respective programs. She graduated from the Rowan College at Gloucester County nursing program.

Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director of Pick n Pay in South Africa, will address School of Business graduates during commencement on May 19. During her 20 years with the company, Ackerman-Berman has worked in various positions, from floor management and buying to general manager of corporate affairs and social responsibility. Before joining the family business, she received extensive training in supermarkets in France and the United Kingdom. Along with Raymond Ackerman, she is co-author of "A Sprat to Catch a Mackerel: Key Principles to Build Your Business."

Raymond Ackerman, a South African equal rights advocate, entrepreneur and philanthropist, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. A visionary South African businessman who stood up to his nation’s repressive apartheid government, he currently is the retired chair of the international retail establishment Pick n Pay, a highly regarded retailer employing more than 50,000 people in more than 1,000 stores across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland and Lesotho. He has been recognized by the Financial Times (Great Britain) as one of the world’s top 100 most-respected businessmen.

The Hon. Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina, associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, will speak at the Rutgers Law School at Camden commencement on May 19. Born in Cuba, Fernandez-Vina was appointed to the Superior Court bench by then-Gov. James E. McGreevey in 2004. He first sat in the civil division of the Camden Vicinage, then moved to the family division in 2006 and was named presiding judge of the civil division in 2007. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner named him assignment judge of the Camden Vicinage in 2012. He is a graduate of Rutgers Law School.

Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder of Project HOME, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. Involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978, she was a co-founder, in 1985, of Woman of Hope, which provides permanent residential and support services for homeless, mentally ill women. In 1988, she founded the first Outreach Coordination Center in the nation. A year later, she and Joan Dawson McConnon co-founded Project HOME, a nationally recognized organization that provides supportive housing, employment, education and health care to enable chronically homeless and low-income persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Under their leadership, Project HOME has grown from an emergency winter shelter to more than 700 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment to formerly homeless persons.

Lisa Ciaranca Kaplan, principal of Andrew Jackson School in Philadelphia and winner of the 2015 Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education (known as the “best principal in the nation” award), will deliver the keynote address to Arts & Sciences faculty on May 19. Her neighborhood community school in Philadelphia has a very diverse and vibrant population, inclusive of 29 cultures and 14 different languages. Kaplan has been involved in education development for 30 years, focusing on effective teaching, special education and college-to-career readiness. Using her secret weapon – people power – she has been able to build an unparalleled network of partnerships that are eager and willing to partner with the Jackson School.


Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative and award-winning author of "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption," will speak at the University of Delaware’s 167th commencement on May 28 at Delaware Stadium. Stevenson, who grew up in Milton, Delaware, was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those who need it most – the poor, the wrongly condemned and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of the American criminal justice system. Published by Spiegel and Grau, Stevenson’s book is a powerful true story about the potential for mercy as redemption and a clarion call to fix a broken system of justice. It won the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the 2015 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction.


The Sidney Kimmel Medical College will award honorary degrees to the Hon. David J. Shulkin, M.D. and Fumimaro Takaku, M.D., Ph.D.

Hon. David J. Shulkin, M.D.

Shulkin is undersecretary of health for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. As the chief executive of the Veterans Health Administration, he leads the nation’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million veterans each year. Currently leading the administration during the biggest transformation in the agency’s history, Shulkin was recognized as No. 12 in Modern Healthcare’s “50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders in the Country.”

Fumimaro Takaku, M.D., Ph.D.

Takaku, president of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences since 2004, is the honorary president of Jichi Medical University and president of the Japan Association for Development of Community Medicine. Along with the Noguchi Medical Research Institute, JADECOM established the Japan Center at Thomas Jefferson University in 2012.

The Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences and Population Health will award honorary degrees to Esther Dyson, Sc.D. (hon.), FASHP, and Ignazio Roberto Marino, M.D., Sc.D., FASHP.

Esther Dyson, Sc.D., FASHP

Dyson is the founder of the Health Initiative Coordinating Council, a nonprofit since 2013 that encourages a rethinking of how we produce health. HICCup, under Dyson's direction, is leading The Way to Wellville Project - a national challenge among five communities over five years to make significant improvement in five measures of health and economic vitality. From 1998 to 2000, she served as the founding chairman of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Ignazio Roberto Marino, M.D., Sc.D., FASHP

Marino is the mayor of Rome, Italy, a position he has held since 2013. Appointed by the government of Italy, he is one of five board members of the first National Center for Transplantation of the Italian Republic. He was also appointed by Pope John Paul II as an international expert to advise the ethics committee, known as the Pontifical Academy for Life. Formerly, Marino directed both the Division of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery and the Division of Transplantation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. As a surgical team member, he performed the only two baboon-to-human liver xenotransplants in medical history.

Vivian W. Pinn, M.D.

The Jefferson Colleges of Health Professions and Pharmacy will award an honorary degree to Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., a member of Jefferson’s board of trustees and, previously, the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, an appointment she had held since 1991. She joined the NIH from the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she had been professor and chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982.

The Jefferson College of Nursing will award honorary degrees to Gen. Peter Chiarelli, USA (Ret.) and Edith Robb Dixon, LLD (Hon.), LHD (Hon.), ScD (Hon.)

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, USA (Ret.)

Chiarelli was appointed the CEO of ONE MIND in 2012 – a nonprofit organization that believes in Open Science Principles and creates global public-private partnerships between health care providers, researchers, academics and the health care industry, while supporting groundbreaking new research. Chiarelli advocates for all affected by brain disease and injury through eliminating the stigma and fostering fundamental changes that will radically accelerate the development and implementation of improved diagnostics, treatments and cures.

Edith Robb Dixon, LLD (Hon.), LHD (Hon.), Sc.D. (Hon.)

Dixon is an active Abington trustee, serving as secretary of both the Abington Hospital and Lansdale Hospital boards and as a member of the Abington Health Foundation board. She is also active on the boards of trustees for organizations like the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Cabrini College and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she has held many leadership positions. Dixon’s service and generosity to these organizations and others is extensive. She and her late husband, Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr., have supported a variety of causes, including the Police Athletic League and Abington Hospital. Their kindness has ensured the future of many by giving generously of their time and resources.


Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas W. Wolf will deliver Franklin & Marshall College's commencement address on May 7 and receive an honorary degree. Accompanying the governor will be his wife, first lady Frances Wolf, a graduate of F&M and a member of the college's board of trustees.

Wolf had never campaigned for elected office when he defeated an incumbent governor in November 2014. A York County native – he still lives in the home he grew up in – Wolf attended Dartmouth College. He interrupted his academic career to spend two years working for the Peace Corps in a small village in India, later earning graduate degrees from the University of London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With two cousins, Wolf purchased the family's lumber distribution and building products business, the Wolf Organization. They sold the business 25 years later and Wolf went on to serve as Pennsylvania's secretary of revenue for Gov. Ed Rendell. He eventually returned to the family enterprise to rescue the company from the brink of bankruptcy. 

Also accomplished, Frances Wolf earned an undergraduate degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. Nearly two decades later, she returned to college and earned a degree in art and art history at F&M in 1996. She also holds a master's degree in the history of art from Bryn Mawr College. A painter, her works exhibit throughout Pennsylvania. She joined F&M's board in 2004 and is now a vice chair.

In addition to Wolf, the college will award honorary degrees to Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray and his wife, Gail Gray, as well as actress and playwright Nilaja Sun, a 1996 graduate of Franklin & Marshall.


Craig L. Adams

PECO President and CEO Craig L. Adams will deliver Montgomery County Community College’s 2016 commencement address on May 19 at 7 p.m. in Blue Bell.

Adams guides the company’s philanthropic efforts, which provide more than $5 million annually to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the region. He holds board positions with a number of educational and community organizations in the Philadelphia area. He is president of the board of directors at Camphill Special School and chairman of the board of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. He also is a board member of WHYY, the American Gas Association and the Energy Association of Pennsylvania. Adams also serves on the board of directors of MontcoWorks, Montgomery County’s Workforce Investment Board.


John R. Garrison

John R. Garrison, public health advocate, will speak to graduates during commencement ceremonies on May 22 at Albright College in Reading and receive an honorary degree. A national leader in the battle against the tobacco industry and in the fight for clean air, Garrison was the only voluntary health association executive to oppose giving the tobacco industry legal immunity during the industry’s 1997 tobacco settlement negotiations with the state attorneys general. This led former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to describe him as “a man of integrity not easily swayed by public opinion.” 

From 1990 through 2001, Garrison served as CEO of the American Lung Association, the country’s oldest national volunteer health agency. Prior to that he was the CEO of Easter Seals, serving from 1978 to 1990. Today, Garrison heads his own consulting business, J.R. Garrison and Associates. He is currently under contract to provide Cherish Our Children International, a global humanitarian organization, the leadership it seeks to make it a major player on the world scene.

In addition to Garrison, honorary degrees will be awarded to Jay S. Sidhu, chairman and CEO of Customers Bank, and Sonia Sanchez, a nationally recognized poet, professor and activist.


President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama will address graduates at the 250th anniversary commencement of Rutgers University on May 15 at High Point Solutions Stadium on the Busch Campus in Piscataway.

Obama is the 44th president of the United States. His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, Obama was born in Hawaii and raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.

Obama's years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. 

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyersdistinguished journalist and president of the Schumann Media Center, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree and address the School of Arts and Sciences Convocation. His remarkable career trajectory has taken him from divinity school to the White House to long success and deep impact as a broadcast journalist — becoming, in the words of a Washington Post article, “public television’s most visible intellectual and its most unabashed liberal.” Recognized as one of the unique voices of our times, he has delivered insightful explorations of critical issues like the democratic process, freedom of speech and the widening gap between the classes in American society.

Moyers has earned more than three dozen Emmy Awards, nine Peabody Awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the PEN USA Courageous Advocacy Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the American Film Institute. 

S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell

S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a pioneering researcher in astronomy, will be awarded an honorary doctor of science degree. She grew up in Northern Ireland, where her father was chief architect for the Armagh Observatory’s planetarium. In her youth, she spent long hours there and read many books on astronomy. She was further inspired by a physics teacher at her boarding school. As a graduate student and research assistant to radio astronomer Antony Hewish, Bell Burnell helped build an 81.5-megahertz radio telescope to study quasars; the instrument took up four and one-half acres. In late 1967, while analyzing printouts from the radio telescope, she noticed that "on occasions, there was a bit of ‘scruff’" on the records. Searching for the source of these regularly pulsing signals, she and Hewish eventually determined the signals were from rapidly spinning, super-dense, collapsed stars, which were dubbed pulsars.

Hewish later won the Nobel Prize in physics for this discovery; when other scientists protested Bell Burnell’s exclusion, she humbly said, “I believe it would demean Nobel Prizes if they were awarded to research students, except in very exceptional cases, and I do not believe this is one of them.”


Tom Kitt, an award-winning composer, conductor and musician, will deliver the keynote address at UArts’ 138th commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 10 at the University’s Merriam Theater on the Avenue of the Arts. He will also receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree, along with longtime UArts Trustee and former board chairman Ronald J. Naples. Receiving Silver Star Alumni Awards will be Fredric Snitzer BFA ’73, a Miami-based art gallery owner and Art Basel selection committee member, and UArts Associate Professor Kim Yvonne Bears-Bailey BFA ’84, assistant artistic director of innovative dance company PHILADANCO.

Tom Kitt

Kitt received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as two Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, for the rock musical “Next to Normal.” The Off-Broadway production received the Outer Critics’ Circle Award and a Drama Desk nomination, both for Outstanding Score. Kitt is also the composer of the Tony-nominated "If/Then," Broadway’s "High Fidelity" and "Orphans," and with Lin-Manuel Miranda is the co-composer of Broadway’s "Bring it On: The Musical." Kitt is also responsible for music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations for Green Day's "American Idiot: The Musical" on Broadway.

Ronald Naples

Naples, a member of the University of the Arts Board of Trustees since 1978 and chair for 14 years, helped to guide the merger of the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and the Philadelphia College of Art that created the University of the Arts. Naples is also the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Quaker Chemical Corporation and a White House Fellow and held multiple positions in the Gerald Ford administration. In addition to his role at UArts, he has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Award, the Liberty Medal Award, Greater Philadelphia First and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation.

Frederic Snitzer

Snitzer is the founder of Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami, one of the country’s leading galleries for contemporary art. One of the early champions of contemporary Latin American art in the United States, he serves on the selection committee of Art Basel Miami Beach, one of the world’s most prestigious art shows. Snitzer earned a BFA in Sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and an MFA in Sculpture from Penn State University.

Kim Yvonne Bears-Bailey

Bears-Bailey, an award-winning dancer, artistic director and University of the Arts faculty member, is assistant artistic director for PHILADANCO and was the first non-New Yorker to win a prestigious “Bessie” Award for dance. She also appeared in the movie “Beloved,” and is an artist-in-residence at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She received UArts’ 2011 Mary Louise Beitzel Award for Distinguished Teaching and is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance’s Next Generation of Leaders.


Patty Mcgill Peterson, of the American Council on Education and presidential adviser for Global Initiatives, and Elaine L. Bukowski, professor of physical therapy, will serve as commencement speakers at Richard Stockton University on May 15.

Peterson, who will speak at the baccalaureate commencement, is a member of the senior leadership team at the American Council on Education, the major coordinating association for higher education institutions in the United States. As presidential adviser for Global Initiatives, she oversees work on the internationalization and global engagement of higher education, which includes facilitating a broad spectrum of programs and services for U.S. colleges and universities as well as ACE’s outreach to institutions, governments and associations of higher education around the world. Peterson is president emerita at Wells College and at St. Lawrence University, where she held presidencies from 1980 to 1996.

Bukowski, who will speak at the doctoral and master's commencement, is a tenured professor of physical therapy at Stockton University and a practicing clinician providing pro-bono services in southern New Jersey. Bukowski, who has a doctor of physical therapy with a concentration in orthopedics from Drexel University, has worked in a variety of settings in the United States and in Ghana, West Africa. She has taught at Stockton for the past 29 years, was a founding member of the physical therapy program, director of the physical therapy program and, more recently, associate director of the post-professional doctor of physical therapy program. At Stockton, she has been an active member of various university and program committees, serving as chair for several committees, including the Physical Therapy Admission Committee.


Lorraine C. Basara, a three-sport athlete at Penn State Abington, will speak at commencement at Penn State Abington on Friday, May 6 at the Athletic Building. Basara completed her bachelor's degree in health and physical education at University Park in 1975. She is the secretary of the Abington Alumni Board as well as a member of the Abington Athletics Advisory Board. Over the years, athletes from grade school through adult leagues benefited from Basara's love of teaching and coaching field hockey, basketball and softball. She is a senior human resources manager in the federal government responsible for developing aspiring and current leaders. She teaches succession planning, mentoring and coaching. Her extensive background includes designing and developing training for adult learners.


Jennifer Morgan, president of SAP North America, will deliver the commencement address at Penn State Brandywine on Saturday, May 7 at the Commons/Athletic Building. She is responsible for leading the business in the North America region, serving more than 90,000 customers in 25 industries across the United States and Canada.


F. William McNabb III, chairman and chief executive officer of Vanguard, will deliver the commencement address at The School of Graduate Professional Studies at Penn State Great Valley on Friday, May 6, on the campus. McNabb joined Vanguard in 1986, became chief executive officer in 2008, and chairman of the board of directors and the board of trustees in 2010. Previously, he led each of Vanguard’s client-facing business divisions. He also serves as chairman of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia and on the board of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the Wharton Leadership Advisory Board, and the Dartmouth Athletic Advisory Board. McNabb earned a bachelor of arts from Dartmouth College and a master of business administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


College of Agricultural Sciences, Sunday, May 8, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Keith Eckel, owner and president of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, Inc. in Clarks Summit, Pa., and Penn State trustee.

College of Arts and Architecture, Saturday, May 7, Eisenhower Auditorium

Speaker: Soprano Lisa Marie Rogali, a 2016 PSU graduate who will continues studies the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music

Smeal College of BusinessSunday May 8, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Salomon “Sal” Sredni '87, retired president and chief executive officer of TradeStation Group Inc.

College of Communications, Saturday, May 7, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Donald P. Bellisario, a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, is best known as a creator/producer of groundbreaking TV series such as “Magnum, P.I.,” “Quantum Leap” and “NCIS.”

College of Earth and Mineral SciencesFriday, May 6, Pegula Ice Arena

Speaker: Michael DiBerardinis, managing director, City of Philadelphia

College of EducationSunday, May 8, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Irvin Scott, director of College Ready in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

College of EngineeringFriday, May 6, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Shu Chien, director, Institute of Engineering in Medicine, University of California, San Diego

College of Health and Human Development, Saturday, May 7, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Linda Caldwell, distinguished professor of recreation, park, and tourism management at PSU

College of Information Sciences and TechnologySaturday, May 7, Eisenhower Auditorium

Speaker: Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, chairman of Ridge Global and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

College of the Liberal Arts, aturday, May 7, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Lasanthi Fernando, a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Honors Scholar, is graduating with a bachelor of arts in philosophy and a bachelor of science in economics, along with minors in bioethics and medical humanities, and business in the liberal arts.

College of Nursing, Saturday, May 7, Eisenhower Auditorium

Speaker: Donna Hart Gage, 2010 doctoral graduate from Penn State and chief nursing officer with the Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Eberly College of Science, Saturday, May 7, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: John Urschel, a published mathematician and NFL offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens

The Graduate School, Sunday, May 8, Bryce Jordan Center

Speaker: Rob Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health and prevention research and professor-in-charge of the Graduate Program.