University of Rochester

Anne Mulcahy to Deliver University of Rochester Commencement Address

May 8, 2008

Legal Scholar Arthur R. Miller, Financier Peter Simon to Receive Honorary Degrees

Xerox Corp. CEO Anne Mulcahy will be the commencement speaker and will join alumnus and legal scholar Arthur R. Miller in receiving honorary degrees during the University of Rochester's graduation ceremony for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering on Sunday, May 18.

J. Peter Simon, co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons investment firm, also will be awarded an honorary degree and give the address at commencement for the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration on June 8. Peter Simon is the son of the Simon School's late benefactor, William E. Simon.

The College's 158th commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. May 18 on the Eastman Quadrangle of the River Campus. The outdoor event for candidates receiving bachelor's and master's degrees is one of many academic ceremonies set throughout the weekend.

The College ceremony also will include the presentation of two University awards. The Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal will be given to G. Robert Witmer Jr., alumnus, chairman of the University of Rochester Board of Trustees, and former chairman of the management committee of Nixon Peabody, a nationally known law firm founded in Rochester. The Hutchison Medal is the highest honor given to an alumnus/a in recognition of outstanding achievements and service to community, state, or nation.

Thomas R. Krugh, professor of chemistry who has taught at Rochester for 38 years, will receive the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Miller, who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, is one of the nation's most distinguished legal scholars in the areas of civil litigation, copyright and unfair competition, and privacy. He is the author of more than 40 books and numerous articles, and was the Bruce Bromley Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he earned his law degree and taught for 36 years. A member of the Rochester Class of 1956, Miller is currently University Professor at New York University and the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He was the first person to explain law on television through Good Morning America, PBS, and the original Court TV, a series for which he won an Emmy and numerous American Bar Association awards.

One of only five women to run a Fortune 500 Company, Mulcahy's success at Xerox has earned her numerous accolades. Mulcahy, who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, began her career at Xerox in 1976. She took leadership of the corporation in 2001 and launched a companywide restructuring that slashed expenses and halved debt. At the same time, she protected research and development from cutbacks, allowing the company to introduce new products to drive future profits. A highly valued advisor, Mulcahy serves on the boards of directors for the Washington Post Company, Target Corporation, and Catalyst.

Witmer, who will be awarded the Hutchison Medal, graduated in the Class of 1959. He earned his law degree at Harvard and has enjoyed a distinguished career at the Nixon Peabody firm. He has served as president of the New York State Bar Association, is a life member of the American Law Institute and a charter member of the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law. At the University, he has served as president of the Eastman Dental Center Board of Directors, chair of the Trustees' Alumni Council of the College, chair of the University Alumni Council, and was inducted into the University's Sports Hall of Fame. Witmer has been a member of the University Board of Trustees since 1979.

Krugh's dedication to undergraduate teaching has made his introductory chemistry course one that students describe as exciting and inspiring. His use of live demonstrations and innovative teaching techniques keep students engaged even in a large lecture hall. Like his teaching, Krugh's administrative leadership has focused on undergraduate learning. He directed undergraduate research from 1996 to 2004 and has led the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Chemistry since 1998. Krugh earned his doctorate in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University.

There are 937 candidates for a bachelor's degree and 234 candidates for a master's degree in the College.

Commencement ceremonies for other University divisions are:

  • School of Nursing, Friday, May 16: 1:30 p.m. in Eastman Theatre

There are 209 candidates for bachelor's degrees and master's degrees.

Dr. Andrew Doniger, director of the Monroe County Department of Public Health, will be the keynote speaker. He oversees the management of all health department programs and works closely with community partners in developing policies and programs to improve community health. Doniger has academic appointments at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and holds a master's degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • School of Medicine and Dentistry (for M.D. candidates), Friday, May 16: 4 p.m. in Eastman Theatre

There are 91 candidates for medical doctor degrees.

At the ceremony, Dr. Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard University, will deliver the commencement address and receive the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, the highest alumni honor at the University. For the past five decades, Martin, former dean of the Harvard Medical School, has been at the forefront of efforts to translate the insights of basic science into life-saving medical treatments. As both a physician and a researcher, he has demonstrated that the key to hastening those advances is to encourage clinicians and scientists to work side by side.

  • Doctoral degree candidates (all divisions), Saturday, May 17: 9:30 a.m. in Eastman Theatre

A total of 280 doctoral degrees (Ph.D., D.M.A., Ed.D.) will be awarded.

Charles R. Munnerlyn, a member of the University Board of Trustees and founder of VISX, will receive the Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award, which honors his rigorous and innovative scholarly work. Munnerlyn, who received his doctoral degree from the University in optical engineering in 1969, is considered one of the founding fathers of laser vision correction, a procedure that allows millions of people to have 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts. A developer of optical devices and an entrepreneur, Munnerlyn holds more than 30 U.S. patents in the field of optics.

Patrick McCreless, an alumnus and professor of music theory in the Music Department at Yale University, also will be awarded the Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award. McCreless, an expert on Richard Wagner and the music of the late 19th century, has many musical accomplishments as a teacher, researcher, performer, and administrator. Following the completion of his doctoral degree in music theory from the Eastman School of Music in 1981, he taught at the Eastman School before leaving for the University of Texas at Austin. In his 15 years there, he taught music theory and served as the associate director of its School of Music. He chaired Yale's Music Department from 2001 to 2007, and today serves as the organist and choir director at First Presbyterian Church in New Haven, Conn.

The William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching will be awarded to Stephen Dewhurst, senior associate dean for basic research in the School of Medicine and Dentistry and professor of microbiology and immunology, and of oncology. Since joining the faculty in 1990, Dewhurst has spearheaded and continues to maintain several innovative programs that enhance graduate education. Considered one of the most beloved teachers and prolific researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Dewhurst is lauded by colleagues and students alike for his "infectious enthusiasm" for science—a positive energy that pervades his lectures, his one-on-one mentoring relationships, and his leadership in the University.

  • Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Saturday, May 17: 2 p.m. in Strong Auditorium

There are 118 candidates for a master's degree.

April Luehmann, assistant professor of teaching and curriculum at the Warner School, will receive the University's G. Graydon '58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Nontenured Member of the Faculty. A respected scholar, praised for the high expectations she brings to the classroom, Luehmann is equally applauded for her warmth and patience, whether working with middle school students or doctoral candidates. She is credited with transforming the science education curriculum with an innovative approach to pedagogy. At the core of her teacher preparation program is the guiding principle that learning is enriched by doing. Luehmann received her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan.

  • Eastman School of Music, Sunday, May 18: 11:15 a.m. in Eastman Theatre

There are 112 candidates for a bachelor's degree and 108 candidates for a master's degree.

Composer and veteran critic Greg Sandow, an expert on the future of classical music, will speak at the Eastman School's commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and master's degree students. Sandow completed his undergraduate degree in political science at Harvard University and holds a master's degree in composition from Yale University. After focusing on writing music in the 1970s, he turned to writing about music and is a well-known critic and commentator with reviews in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Opera News.

  • School of Medicine and Dentistry (for master's degree candidates), Sunday, May 18: 2 p.m. in the Gallery Auditorium of Memorial Art Gallery

There will be 105 master's degree candidates. There is no keynote speaker.

  • William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, Sunday, June 8: 10 a.m. Eastman Theatre

There will be 359 master's degree candidates.

Commencement speaker J. Peter Simon, who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, has coupled a successful business career with a deep commitment to public service through philanthropy and involvement in education. A psychology and religion major at Lafayette College, he began his investment career at Kidder Peabody in New York City, rising to managing director in the convertible securities department. In 1988, he co-founded William E. Simon & Sons, along with his father and his brother, Bill Simon Jr. He currently serves as co-chairman of the firm and its investment group and leads the New Jersey office.

The Simon School Distinguished Alumna Award will be given to Kathy N. Waller, vice president and chief of internal audit at the Coca-Cola Company and a member of the University of Rochester Board of Trustees. Waller earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering in 1980, and an MBA from the Simon School in 1983. She also has received the Meliora Citation for Career Achievement, one of the College's most prestigious alumni awards for professional excellence.

The total number of degrees to be awarded in all schools: 2,553 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.