Please consider downloading the latest version of Internet Explorer
to experience this site as intended.
Meloria • Ever Better
Search Tools Main Menu

Commencement 2012

Awards and Honorary Degrees

Matthew Clark
Matthew
Clark
Ruth Simmons
Ruth
Simmons
George Walker
George
Walker
Regina Benjamin
Regina
Benjamin
Robert Hurlbut
Robert
Hurlbut
Arthur Moss
Arthur
Moss
Roger Friedlander
Roger
Friedlander
Glenn Watkins
Glenn
Watkins
Gautam Mitra
Gautam
Mitra
Robert Wason
Robert
Wason
Lane Hemaspaandra
Lane
Hemaspaandra
Karen DeAngelis
Karen
DeAngelis

Honorary Doctor of Divinity

Matthew H. Clark

Presented at the Arts, Sciences & Engineering Ceremony

Matthew Clark

Most Reverend Matthew H. Clark, Roman Catholic Bishop of Rochester, is spiritual leader to more than 300,000 Catholics in the Rochester diocese. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II in May 1979 in Rome and installed as the eighth bishop of Rochester in June 1979. Clark has developed a reputation as an inclusive leader in the Diocese and in the larger community, inviting women to participate more fully in church leadership and increasing participation of lay people in church administration, working with government leaders to improve the community, expanding the work of Catholic Charities, ministering to gay and lesbian worshippers, and reaching out to other Christians and people of other faiths. Indeed, the Rochester Diocese has been a beacon of hope for interfaith dialogue. In 1996, the Diocese became the first anywhere to enter into a formal agreement of cooperation and understanding with the Board of Rabbis of a Jewish community. A similar agreement was forged later with Rochester's growing Muslim community, and a covenant was created with the local Episcopal Church.

During his more than three decades as bishop, Clark and area Catholics have shouldered many changes. To seek grassroots involvement first, Clark's pastoral planning process solicits solutions at the parish level. The approach has gained local support and also recognition by the National Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development. His emphasis on more programs for youth and young adults has ignited parish activities and won praise from the National Catholic Campus Ministry Association. A native of Waterford, N.Y., Clark was ordained a priest in 1962. Before he was named a bishop, he served as spiritual director at the North American College in Rome. Clark attended Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., Mater Christi Seminary in Albany, the former St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester, and the North American College in Rome. He holds licentiates in theology and in canon law from the Gregorian University in Rome. In 2009, he authored Forward in Hope: A Bishop Says Amen to Lay Ecclesial Ministry, published by Ave Maria Press.




Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and Commencement Speaker

Ruth J. Simmons

Presented at the Arts, Sciences & Engineering Ceremony

Ruth J. Simmons

Ruth J. Simmons has been the president of Brown University for 11 years, during which time she has strengthened one of America's premier universities by establishing need-blind admission and strengthening financial aid for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, enhancing Brown's funding resources, increasing the size of its faculty, and substantially expanding its facilities. Simmons is a prolific writer and speaker and in 2007 was named one of the nation's top leaders by U.S. News & World Report. Her breadth of experience and her command of issues affecting science education, foreign language study, diversity, and institutional governance, among others, have brought invitations from the White House, the World Economic Forum, the National Press Club, and the American Council on Education.

Early in her presidency, Simmons articulated a vision for Brown to revitalize its essential activities of teaching and research. The Plan for Academic Enrichment, the map for institutional growth and development, has become the cornerstone of her presidency. Simmons launched the Campaign for Academic Enrichment, which raised more than $1.6 billion. One hundred new faculty members were hired, graduate programs were expanded, a School of Engineering was established, and strategic partnerships were formed with numerous national and international institutions and universities. A scholar of comparative literature, Simmons previously held posts at several universities, including Smith College where she served as president from 1995 to 2001. She became Brown's 18th president in 2001. She also holds appointments as professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of Africana Studies. A native of Texas, Simmons earned her undergraduate degree from Dillard University in 1967. She received her doctorate in romance languages and literatures from Harvard University in 1973. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations. She recently was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships.




Honorary Doctor of Music

George Walker

Presented at the Eastman School of Music Ceremony

George Walker

George Walker's distinguished career as a musician, composer, pianist, and educator has won him international acclaim and numerous awards, commissions, and major performances. Walker began studying piano at age five, entered Oberlin College at 14, and graduated at the top of his conservatory class at 18. He was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music to study piano with Rudolf Serkin and composition with Rosario Scalero, teacher of Samuel Barber and Gian-Carlo Menotti. In 1945, he made his acclaimed New York recital debut and performed the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra two weeks later as the winner of the Philadelphia Youth Auditions.

In 1953, he toured seven European countries under the auspices of the National Concert Artists. In 1956, he earned the DMA and Artist's Diploma in piano from the Eastman School of Music. Walker has published more than 90 works for almost every medium. He has received commissions from the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Eastman School of Music, the orchestras of New Jersey, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and many other ensembles. He has received awards from the Fulbright, John Hay Whitney, Rockefeller, and Koussevitzky Foundations and from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His music has been recorded by Columbia Records, Sony, Naxos, BIS, Centaur, Albany Records, and many other labels. Walker's 1946 Lyric for Strings is perhaps the most frequently performed work by a living American composer. His Piano Sonata No. 2, written as his Eastman doctoral dissertation, has been deemed a masterpiece.

In 1996, he received the Pulitzer Prize in Music for Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra. Walker has held faculty appointments at Smith, Rutgers, and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of six honorary doctorate degrees.




Honorary Doctor of Science

Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA

Presented at the School of Medicine and Dentistry Ceremony

Regina Benjamin

Dr. Regina M. Benjamin is the 18th Surgeon General of the United States, nominated to the position by President Obama in 2009. As "America's Doctor," it is her job to provide the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. Dr. Benjamin also oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers, who serve in locations around the world. Early in her career, Dr. Benjamin founded a rural health clinic in Alabama, which she kept in operation despite damage and destruction inflicted by Hurricane Georges in 1998, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and a devastating fire in 2006.

In 1995, Dr. Benjamin, a former associate dean for rural health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile and past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, became the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. In 2002, she became the first African-American woman to become president of a state medical society in the United States when she assumed leadership of the Medical Association State of Alabama. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Benjamin, the 1998 United States recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for service to the church by Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2008, she was honored with a MacArthur Genius Award Fellowship. Dr. Benjamin also received the 2011 Chairman's Award during the worldwide broadcast of the 42nd NAACP Image Awards. Dr. Benjamin earned a BS degree in chemistry from Xavier University in New Orleans, an MD degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MBA from Tulane University. The honorary Doctor of Science degree that will be conferred upon her today will mark Dr. Benjamin's 16th honorary degree.




Honorary Doctor of Science

Robert H. Hurlbut

Presented at the School of Nursing Ceremony

Robert Hurlbut

Robert H. Hurlbut grew up among the frail and infirm who were taken in and cared for by his parents, and he learned at a young age the delicate balance between providing dignified, respectful care for the elderly and achieving success in business. His vision for elder care evolved from managing and consulting with Rochester-area nursing homes to overseeing a multi-state retirement community organization. In 1964, Hurlbut became president of ROHM Services Corporation, rising to chair the organization that served nursing homes across western New York. His acumen was recognized with his appointment in 1989 to the Board of Commissioners of the New York State Insurance Fund. He was elected vice chair in 1995 and chair in 2006.

In 1968, Hurlbut founded Vari-Care, Inc., which oversaw 24 long-term health care facilities and retirement complexes in several states. He joined the board of the Houston-based Living Centers of America, which purchased Vari-Care, Inc. in 1993. The following year, he created The Hurlbut Trust, which offers financial and consulting services for health care facilities and rental properties. A Fellow of the American College of Health Care Administrators and longtime supporter of the University of Rochester, Hurlbut chaired the Board of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

He has served as a trustee of the University of Rochester, vice chairman of the University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center Foundation Board, and an inaugural member of the University of Rochester School of Nursing National Council. Hurlbut's commitment to the Rochester community is far-reaching, including service on the boards of the Rochester Area Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Monroe County Long Term Care Program, Lifespan, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, HSBC Bank, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary's Hospital and Foundation, Roberts Wesleyan College, and St. John Fisher College. He chaired the board of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, steering it through fiscal challenges as it rebuilt its endowment. Hurlbut attended Cornell University and serves on its College of Hotel Administration Advisory Board and is a life member of the Cornell University Council.




Eastman Medal

Arthur J. Moss, MD

Arthur Moss

Presented at the School of Medicine and Dentistry Ceremony

Dr. Arthur J. Moss is a professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and one of the nation's most influential cardiologists. His discoveries over the past five decades have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and dramatically improved the standard of care for people with heart disease. Early in his career, he championed the use of rapid chest compressions following cardiac arrest, leading to the widespread use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Dr. Moss's clinical and scientific research focuses on the treatment and prevention of cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart beats), heart failure, and long QT syndrome, a rare, genetic disorder that makes the heart particularly susceptible to arrhythmias. He led the first large study proving implantable defibrillators saved the lives of patients who suffered a heart attack and were prone to arrhythmias. Worldwide use of defibrillators grew rapidly, and medical guidelines changed as a result of his work. His follow-up research showed that cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillators extends survival for people with heart failure. Dr. Moss is the world's authority on long QT syndrome. His discovery of three genes involved in the disease led to creation of a diagnostic blood test. He also maintains an international registry to track families carrying the genes to better understand the inherited condition. He is a past chair of the National Institutes of Health Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Cardiology Advisory Committee and the Epidemiology and Disease Control Study Section, and is active in the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and the Heart Rhythm Society.

A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Moss earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He came to the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1961 to complete his medical residency and thereafter started his fundamental research work as an advanced Fellow of the American Heart Association.




Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal

Roger B. Friedlander

Presented at the Arts, Sciences & Engineering Ceremony

Roger B. Friedlander

Roger B. Friedlander, a 1956 graduate of the University of Rochester with an undergraduate degree in business administration, is a retired vice president of Staples, Inc. and the cofounder of Spectrum Office Products, one of the largest office supply businesses in the Northeast before it was sold to Staples in 1994. He is a past president of Staples Business Advantage and a former corporate consultant for the national retailer.

As an undergraduate, Friedlander excelled as a student athlete, both as a member of the undefeated football team of 1952 and in track and field. He enlisted in the Naval ROTC program and served in the Navy from 1956 to 1958, before returning to Rochester to begin a long and successful career in business. In 1970, he founded Spectrum Office Products with his business partner, the late Henry Epstein. Through the years, Friedlander remained connected to his alma mater and after selling his company, shared his business acumen with the University, first serving on the board of the Children's Hospital, which he chaired from 1996 to 2000. In 1997 he was named to the University of Rochester Medical Center board, which he chaired from 2000 to 2004. Since 1997, Friedlander has served as a trustee of the University, chairing the University's and the Medical Center's facilities committees and the School of Nursing National Council. He is vice chair of the Board's health affairs committee and a member of the investment committee. He also serves on the executive advisory committee of the Simon School and the Eastman Dental Center Foundation Board. Outside the University, Friedlander has served as president and board chairman of American Office Products Dealers, president of Harvard OPM XII, and chairman of the investment and audit committees of the National Office Products Association.

Friedlander has served on the Hillside Family of Agencies Board of Governors since 2007. He and his wife, Carolyn Friedlander, received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in November 2010.




Rochester Distinguished Scholar

Glenn Watkins

Presented at the Doctoral Degrees Ceremony

Glenn Watkins

One of the most distinguished musicologists of our time, Glenn Watkins is the Earl V. Moore Professor Emeritus of Music History and Musicology at the University of Michigan. His scholarly impact ranges from his pioneering studies of Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo to his influential books on musical modernism and its postmodern consequences and music in World War I. Gesualdo's experimental, chromatic music impressed numerous 20th-century composers.

In 1959, while working on a complete edition of Gesualdo's works, Watkins discovered two canonic motets with missing parts, which Igor Stravinsky completed immediately before composing Monumentum pro Gesualdo. Watkins's book, Gesualdo: The Man and His Music, carries a preface by Stravinsky, was translated into several languages, was a 1974 National Book Award nominee, and even served as an inspiration for an opera by Alfred Schnittke. Last year, his The Gesualdo Hex: Music, Myth, and Memoryappeared, followed by an essay-length appreciation in The New Yorker. Watkins has also published an overview of 20th-century music in Soundings; examined the concept of collage in both musical Modernism and the rise of Postmodernism in Pyramids at the Louvre; and looked at how music reflected concerns of German hegemony in Proof Through the Night: Music and the Great War. Critics praise his books for paving new avenues for understanding music and its relation to other arts of the last century.

Watkins has presented at numerous conferences in both late Renaissance and 20th-century studies, collaborated with performance groups, and worked on projects for such recording labels as Columbia, Edition de L'Oiseau-Lyre, Harmonia Mundi, and Deutsche Grammophone and for BBC, German, and Italian television. An honorary member of the American Musicological Society, Watkins has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and the Premio Internazionale Carlo Gesualdo. Watkins earned bachelor's and master's degrees in music at the University of Michigan before coming to the Eastman School of Music, where he received his PhD in musicology in 1953.




Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education

Gautam Mitra

Presented at the Doctoral Degrees Ceremony

Gautam Mitra

Gautam Mitra is a professor of geology at the University of Rochester. Known for his outstanding teaching and research in the field of structural geology, Mitra's work focuses on deformed rocks, ranging in scale from field-based analysis to laboratory micro-structural studies. He coauthored a widely-used textbook, Basic Methods of Structural Geology, and has published numerous scientific papers. His research focuses on the origin and evolution of mountain belts, which has led him to undertake field expeditions to both modern and ancient mountain belts around the world. With his students, Mitra has studied the Appalachian belt in the eastern USA, the North American Cordillera in the western USA, the Scottish Caledonides, the Spanish Pyrenees, the Swiss Alps, the Atlas mountains in Morocco, the Himalayas in India, and the Imjingang-Okcheon collision belt in Korea.

Born in India, Mitra earned his undergraduate and master's degrees from Presidency College at the University of Calcutta (India). For his PhD from Johns Hopkins University, he undertook one of the early studies on the mechanisms by which continental crust is deformed. After spending a few years teaching at the University of Wyoming, he joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in 1981. Described as both an excellent role model and a caring mentor, Mitra has had a profound impact on his students' careers. Seventy-five percent of Mitra's PhD students have entered tenure track positions at colleges or universities, with all of them receiving tenure. Mitra is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, and a member of the American Geophysical Union, the International Association of Structural and Tectonic Geologists, and the executive council of the Structural and Tectonics Studies Group (India).




The William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching

Robert W. Wason

Presented at the Doctoral Degrees Ceremony

Robert Wason

Robert W. Wason is professor of music theory and affiliate faculty in the department of jazz studies and contemporary media at the Eastman School of Music. A noted musical scholar, Wason is also a performing musician and composer across a surprising breadth of genres. Early in his career he worked as a jazz pianist. His book on Viennese harmonic theory in the 19th and early 20th centuries remains an essential reference in that area. His compositions include vocal, solo instrumental, and chamber works. Wason has written on the history of music theory, 20th-century music, and jazz, on subjects ranging from 12-tone music to the songs of Alec Wilder.

An advocate for turn-of-the-century lieder, he has lectured on the topic and given recitals with soprano Valerie Errante. Wason was a University Bridging Fellow in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Wason has received Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships, Paul Sacher Foundation and German Academic Exchange grants, and two ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) Deems Taylor writing awards. He has served on several boards and committees for the Society for Music Theory and on the editorial boards of Music Theory Spectrum and the Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, and currently Theoria and Eastman Studies in Music. Appointed to the Eastman faculty in 1983, Wason has advised students who now hold positions at institutions in Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil, and the United States. Besides teaching doctoral courses in theory, keyboard skills, and advanced harmony and composition, he advised on the design of the jazz DMA program and developed diverse seminars on the music of Bill Evans, Bela Bartok, J. S. Bach, and Anton Webern. Wason was on the faculty of the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, and has also taught at Trinity College in Hartford, Clark University, and the University of North Texas, and been a guest professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland, the University of British Columbia, and SUNY Buffalo.




Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Lane A. Hemaspaandra

Presented at the Arts, Sciences & Engineering Ceremony

Lane A. Hemaspaandra

Lane A. Hemaspaandra is a professor of computer science at the University of Rochester. In his computer theory courses, he is known for making difficult, abstract material fun and accessible. He helped create—and frequently teaches—the department's undergraduate research-immersion course. In that course, he helps teams of students attack open scientific questions whose answers initially are as unknown to him and the field as they are to the students. Hemaspaandra, who is in his 24th year at the University, is a specialist in the theory of computation and its uses in protecting elections from manipulation. He and his research collaborators have determined the computational complexity of Lewis Carroll's 1876 election system, have constructed election systems that computationally resist all standard attacks, and have proven that in some settings quantum computers are almost everywhere exponentially faster than classical computers.

He is an author of two books and over 250 publications, and has coauthored works with more than 50 undergraduate and graduate students. Hemaspaandra was named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1989, was awarded a Bridging Fellowship from the University of Rochester in 1994, won the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2006, was made an Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Scientist in 2007, and currently serves on four editorial boards. He received a BS in computer science and mathematics and physics from Yale University in 1981, an MS in computer science from Stanford University in 1982, and a PhD in computer science from Cornell University in 1987.




The G. Graydon '58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching Excellence

Karen DeAngelis

Presented at the Warner School of Education Ceremony

Karen DeAngelis

Karen DeAngelis, assistant professor in educational leadership at the Warner School of Education, is an emerging master teacher and scholar, admired for her commitment to engaging students, both inside and outside of the classroom, through teaching, research, and mentoring. DeAngelis's exemplary teaching extends across seven courses, each of which she created or revised, and her commitment to academic advising is demonstrated by her involvement on 26 doctoral dissertation committees over the past five years. DeAngelis's research focuses on the recruitment, distribution, and retention of teachers and administrators. She recently was awarded a Spencer Foundation grant to study the academic skills and racial/ethnic diversity of teachers entering K-12 public schools in Illinois. Her research has been published in a number of academic journals such as Journal of Education Finance, Educational Administration Quarterly, Leadership and Policy in Schools, Education and Urban Society, and Education Policy Analysis Archives.

DeAngelis has taken a lead role in redesigning the Warner School's offerings in quantitative research methods to include new courses and consulting support services consisting of monthly workshops and one-on-one consultations offered by advanced doctoral students. With Warner colleague Martin Lynch, three years ago DeAngelis established the Quantitative Consulting Services initiative, where graduate students can receive extra support in this area. Before joining the Warner faculty, DeAngelis conducted pre-kindergarten through postsecondary policy research for the Illinois Education Research Council. She has also done educational consulting and evaluation work for a number of organizations, including the American Institutes for Research, the Danforth Foundation, the St. Louis Desegregation Task Force, and the St. Louis Public School District. DeAngelis received her bachelor's degree in economics from Colby College and both her master's in economics and doctorate in economics of education/policy analysis from Stanford University.