University of Rochester

Distinguished Speakers, Honored Guests Join in the Celebration At University of Rochester 2011 Commencements

May 9, 2011

The University of Rochester will mark the academic achievements of its newest candidates for bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at the 161st commencement ceremonies on May 13 to 15.

Later ceremonies will be held in June for candidates receiving graduate degrees from the Simon School of Business on June 12, and for candidates receiving certificates from the Eastman Institute for Oral Health on June 24.

The Eastman Quadrangle outdoor ceremony for the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering on the River Campus will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 15, where Ursula M. Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation, will deliver the College commencement address and receive the George Eastman Medal for outstanding achievement and dedicated service.

University President Joel Seligman will preside at all of the commencement ceremonies. A total of 3,126 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees will be conferred. (More information is available at the 2011 Commencement website.)

2011 Honorees and Award Winners

College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering Ceremony
9 a.m. Sunday, May 15, Eastman Quadrangle, River Campus

  • John H. Bruning, former president and CEO, Corning Tropel Corporation; George Eastman Medal
  • Ursula M. Burns, chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation; George Eastman Medal and Commencement Speaker
  • Esther M. Conwell '45 (MS), research professor, Departments of Chemistry and Physics; Honorary Doctor of Science
  • Eleana Kim, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology; G. Graydon Curtis and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching
  • Jay T. Last '51, entrepreneur and former vice president of Teledyne; Honorary Doctor of Science

The College ceremony also will include the announcement of the recipients of the Singer Family Prize for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching, which was established by Paul Singer, a 1966 alumnus of the College. Seniors were invited to nominate high school teachers who have had a significant influence on their lives.

This year's winners are: Todd Benz, technology teacher, Pittsford Mendon High School, Pittsford, N.Y., nominated by Kelly Beamish; Timothy Cullen, Advanced Placement U.S. history and economics teacher, and tennis coach, Leonia High School, Leonia, N.J., nominated by Chae-Ri Han; Leya Mathew Joykutty, Advanced Placement and honors biology teacher, American Heritage School, Plantation, Fla., nominated by Sofia Melgarejo; and Susan Berry Peters, mathematics teacher, Longmeadow High School, Longmeadow, Mass., nominated by Benjamin R. Freedman.

Diploma ceremonies hosted by the College academic departments will follow the Eastman Quadrangle ceremony.

Eastman School of Music Ceremony
11:15 a.m. Sunday, May 15, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

  • Jonathan Baldo, associate professor of English, Humanities Department, Eastman School of Music; Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
  • Jeff Beal '85E, Emmy Award-winning composer; Distinguished Alumnus Award and Commencement Speaker

Doctoral Degree Ceremony (for all University divisions)
9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

  • Philippe M. Fauchet, Distinguished Professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering; professor of optics, biomedical engineering, materials science, and physics; senior scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics; The William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching

The doctoral ceremony also will include the presentation of the University Dean's Award for Meritorious Service in Ph.D. Defenses to four faculty members who have demonstrated their commitment to graduate education by serving as chairs of oral examination committees. They are: William A. Bernhard, professor of biochemistry and biophysics; Rosemary Kegl, associate professor of English; Jean Elisabeth Pedersen, associate professor of history, Humanities Department, Eastman School of Music; and Michael Scott, professor of computer science.

School of Medicine and Dentistry (for M.D. candidates)
4 p.m. Friday, May 13, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

  • Eric J. Topol, M.D., '79M, Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute; Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal and Commencement Speaker

School of Nursing
1 p.m. Friday, May 13, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

  • Nancy Bennett, M.D., professor of medicine and of community and preventive medicine, and director of the University's Center for Community Health; Commencement Speaker

School of Medicine and Dentistry (for master's degree candidates)
12:15 p.m., May 14, Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music

  • Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., Albert D. Kaiser Professor and senior associate dean for clinical research; Commencement Speaker

Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development
2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

To celebrate the accomplishments of Warner graduates, the ceremony will include the reading of biographies for those receiving master's and doctoral degrees in place of a commencement speaker.

William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
10 a.m. Sunday, June 12, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

  • Kapil Wadhawan, chairman and managing director of housing development and infrastructure at Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd.; Commencement Speaker
  • Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner, World War II POW and worldwide speaker on his message of resilience, faith and hope; William E. Simon Commendation
  • Michael Ryan, '81, '84S (MBA), chief investment strategist for Wealth Management - Americas, head of Wealth Management Research - Americas, and chairman of the Wealth Management - Americas Investment Committee at UBS Financial Services; Distinguished Alumnus Award

Eastman Institute for Oral Health Convocation
5:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, Class of '62 Auditorium/Flaum Atrium

  • Cyril Meyerowitz, D.D.S., director of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health; Convocation Speaker