A popular and revered professor will be the speaker for the University of Rochester's 151st commencement on Sunday, May 20.
Professor Emeritus of English Jarold Ramsey will deliver the commencement address during the ceremony, which starts at 9 a.m. on the Eastman Quadrangle on the River Campus. Ramsey taught for more than 30 years at Rochester. A nationally known poet, he directed the University's Hyam Plutzik Memorial Poetry Series for many years and served on the selection committee for the National Book Award for poetry in 1999. Ramsey is also a noted scholar of American Indian literatures.
The Sunday ceremonies are for bachelor's and master's degree candidates from the College (arts, sciences, and engineering), Eastman School of Music, Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, School of Nursing, and School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Commencement ceremonies for doctoral candidates from the College, Eastman School, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Warner School, and School of Nursing will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19, in Eastman Theatre.
The commencement ceremony for M.D. graduates of the School of Medicine and Dentistry will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 27, in Eastman Theatre. Antonia Novello, M.D., New York State commissioner of health, will give the address and receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration commencement will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 10, in Eastman Theatre. Michael C. Jensen, a former Simon faculty member and Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard Business School, will give the address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Degrees to be awarded in all schools: 2,177 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.
Bachelor's and Master's Degree Commencement Ceremony, 9 a.m., Sunday, May 20, on Eastman Quadrangle, River Campus: Jarold Ramsey, Commencement Address
Ramsey, who joined the Rochester faculty in 1965, taught courses ranging from American Indian literature to Shakespeare. As the first Director of Undergraduate Research, Ramsey helped many students win research fellowships and compiled the Undergraduate Research Directory to help them find funding for their projects. To honor his work as a respected and beloved mentor to many Rochester students who went on to successful careers as writers, editors, and teachers, the Jarold Ramsey Study was established within the Hyam Plutzik Library for Contemporary Writing at Rush Rhees Library. Ramsey's collections of poetry include such titles as The Space Between Us, Love in an Earthquake, and Dermographia. In addition, his two books on the literary qualities of American Indian narrative, Coyote Was Going There and Reading the Fire, are considered essential works in the area. Among his many honors are the Borestone Mountain Award for Poetry, The Walker Award for Best Essay on Western American Literature, Poetry Northwest's Helen Bullis Prize, and the Quarterly Review of Literature International Poetry Prize. Ramsey retired from the University in 1997.
Galway Kinnell, Hutchison Medal
The Hutchison Medal, the highest honor the University gives its alumni, recognizes outstanding achievements and notable service to community, state, or nation. Award-winning poet Galway Kinnell received his master's degree from the University in 1949. His first volume of poetry, What a Kingdom It Was, appeared in 1960. Among his many subsequent published collections are Body Rags, The Book of Nightmares, When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone, and Selected Poems, for which he received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Kinnell also has authored a children's book and several scholarly translations of medieval and modern French poetry. Currently the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University, he has taught for 50 years.
Robert L. Holmes, Edward Peck Curtis Award for Undergraduate Teaching
Holmes is professor of philosophy and has been a member of the University faculty since 1962.
A world-renowned expert on issues of peace and nonviolence, he specializes in ethics and in social and political philosophy. He has written numerous articles and several books on those topics, and has been invited to address numerous conferences in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Canada. In 1998 he became the first appointee to the Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Peace and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.
Holmes has been the recipient of a Fulbright Lectureship to the former Soviet Union, research grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, and fellowships from the National Humanities Institute at Yale University and the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois.
Anne Merideth, G. Graydon and Jane W. Curtis Award for Teaching, Nontenured
Anne Merideth joined the University faculty in 1995 and is assistant professor of religion.
Merideth teaches courses in the Old and New Testaments and ancient Christianity, and is a frequent participant in programs sponsored by the Interfaith Chapel. A veteran of the University's excavations in Israel, she has lectured in the Rochester community about the archaeological dig and other topics.
In 1997, Merideth earned the Abraham Karp Teaching Award shared by the Department of Religion and Classics and the Department History as well as the Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the University's Women's Caucus.
Doctoral Degree Commencement Ceremony, 10 a.m., Saturday, May 19, in Eastman Theatre:
William Thomson, University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching
Thomson is professor of economics at Rochester, where he has taught since 1983. He is an expert on game theory, mechanism design, and the theory of equity, and is frequently invited to serve as a visiting professor and guest lecturer throughout the United States and abroad.
Thomson has published A Guide for the Young Economist, which provides advice on how to write papers and referee reports and make presentations. Many of Thomson's doctoral students have gone on to teach at major institutions in the United States including Northwestern, Columbia, Penn State, Illinois, and California Institute of Technology, as well as top universities in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, and Turkey.
A Fellow of the Econometric Society, Thomson is the recipient of the Koc Prize for Best Article in the Review of Economic Design. He serves on the board of editors of more than half a dozen professional publications.
Karen H. Brown, Rochester Distinguished Scholar
Brown is Acting Under Secretary for Technology in Technology Administration, the Department of Commerce. She came to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, as deputy director in January 1999, and also serves as acting director of the institute.
Previously, she was with IBM for more than two decades, where she developed an expertise in semiconductor lithography and microelectronics. She was the IBM assignee to SEMATECH, a global consortium of semiconductor manufacturing companies, and also held a variety of leadership positions in Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International.
Brown earned her undergraduate degrees in history and chemistry from the University of Rochester, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University in 1972.