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Johns Hopkins University Commencement, Thursday, May 26

MEDIA ADVISORY
May 12, 2011
To: Reporters, Editors, Assignment Desks
From: Tracey Reeves, treeves@jhu.edu
and
Amy Lunday, acl@jhu.edu
(443) 287-9960

Subject: Johns Hopkins University Commencement, Thursday, May 26.

Speakers include Fareed Zakaria of TIME magazine and CNN,  Joshua Sharfstein of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, singer Marni Nixon, and Sesame Workshop president and CEO Gary Knell.

Fareed Zakaria, TIME columnist, host of his own international affairs program on CNN and one of the most influential political commentators of his day, will be the featured speaker at this year’s university-wide commencement ceremony for graduates from all divisions and campuses of The Johns Hopkins University.

The event will take place, rain or shine, from 8:40 a.m. to approximately noon on Thursday, May 26, on Homewood Field, the stadium on the northern end of the university’s Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. There will be a press section on the playing surface of Homewood Field. Identification is required; prior notification of intention to cover the ceremony is preferred. Limited press parking will be available; please notify us in advance if you need parking. See above for contact information.

The ceremony will feature remarks from President Ronald J. Daniels and a speech by Zakaria, the conferring of all degrees, recognition of new members of the Society of Scholars and bestowing of honorary degrees. In addition, all undergraduate students as well as doctoral students in attendance will have their names announced as they file on stage to have their degrees recognized. The majority of students will receive their diplomas following the event; others will receive them at separate diploma ceremonies at their respective schools.

Prior to the ceremony, the undergraduates from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the School of Nursing and the Peabody Institute, will gather on the Keyser Quadrangle and walk through campus, passing through the Freshman Quad, where their academic journey started. All other graduates will enter from the Athletic Center. Following the ceremony, the newly minted alumni and their families will be invited to a reception on the Keyser Quadrangle.

The university is also redoubling its commitment to sustainability by hosting a “green” commencement. This includes caps and gowns made from 100 percent recyclable materials, reusable stage decorations; offering guests biodegradable bottles of water rather than plastic bottles while also encouraging them to bring their own reusable water bottles; and minimizing printed materials and choosing paper for the Commencement program that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Local caterers specializing in green practices were chosen for the President’s Reception following the ceremony on Keyser Quadrangle, where the food will be served on compostable dinnerware. Composting bins will be provided for the biodegradable water bottles and dinnerware.

Honorary degrees will be awarded during the ceremony to Zakaria; C. Michael Armstrong, who will conclude his six year tenure as chairman of Johns Hopkins Medicine at the end of June; John Barth, professor emeritus in the Krieger School’s Writing Seminars; Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; David M. Serwadda, a physician and pioneering researcher of AIDS and its transmission; and David Simon, writer and producer for NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” and HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme.”

Noteworthy speakers at other Johns Hopkins commencement-related events — at various times and locations from Tuesday, May 24 through Friday, May 27  – include Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who will speak to graduates of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Robert S. Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who will speak to graduates of the Carey Business School; Henry Brem, Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, who will speak to graduates of the School of Medicine; soprano Marni Nixon, who will speak to graduates of the Peabody Institute; Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, who will speak to graduates of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; and Thomas Lovejoy, the biodiversity chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, who will speak to master’s degree recipients from the Krieger School.

About the Ceremonies

The university as a whole and its nine academic divisions will hold the following commencement events, listed by date:

Carey Business School
Tuesday, May 24, 6 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Cathedral and Preston streets.
Speaker: Robert S. Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT. He is widely known for his breakthrough work on controlled-release formulas in drugs, allowing medication to be released on a sustained, periodic basis so that patients can take drugs less frequently while receiving extended benefits. At MIT, being named an “institute professor” is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member.

School of Medicine Diploma Award Ceremony
Tuesday, May 24, 10:30 a.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Speaker: Dr. Henry Brem, Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery, professor of Biomedical Engineering, professor of Oncology, joint appointment in Ophthalmology. Brem focuses his clinical practice on the surgical treatment of pituitary tumors, meningiomas, gliomas, acoustic neuromas, skull base tumors and other solid brain tumors. He has developed new clinical treatments for brain tumors, including the delivery of chemotherapy directly to the brain through the Gliadel wafer, anti-angiogenesis therapies, computer navigation systems used during surgery and brain tumor vaccines.

Bloomberg School of Public Health
Wednesday, May 25, 4 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Speaker: Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Prior to taking his current post in January, Sharfstein served as the principal deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency’s second highest-ranking position, appointed by President Barack Obama. From December 2005 through March 2009, Sharfstein was commissioner of health for the city of Baltimore.

Whiting School of Engineering Graduate Ceremony
Wednesday, May 25, 7 p.m., Homewood Field, Homewood campus.
Speaker: James F. Pitts, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. He oversees business operations in defense electronics, airspace management systems, navigation systems, radar and self protection systems, communications systems, marine systems, space systems, oceanic and naval systems, government systems and logistics services. Pitts earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins.

University-wide Commencement Ceremony and Arts and Sciences/Engineering Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony
Thursday, May 26, from 8:40 a.m. to approximately noon, Homewood Field
Speaker: Fareed Zakaria, host of “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN, editor-at-large at Time magazine; columnist at The Washington Post; and author of several books, including “The Post-American World, The Future of Freedom.” Zakaria was invited by the senior class to be the speaker at this ceremony.

Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Diploma Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 26, 3 p.m., DAR Constitution Hall, Constitution Hall, 18th and D Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Speaker: Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme. Sheeran oversees the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, feeding more than 90 million people on average each year in more than 70 countries. She previously served as under secretary for economic, energy and agricultural affairs at the U. S. Department of State.

School of Nursing Diploma and Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 26, 3 p.m., Hippodrome Theater, 12 North Eutaw St.
Speaker: Kathleen A. Dracup, dean of the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. She holds a doctorate in nursing and her professional career includes 35 years of experience in cardiovascular nursing and university professorships. Dracup is internationally recognized for her investigation into the care of patients with heart disease and its effects on family members.

The Peabody Institute Diploma Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 26, 7:30 p.m., Friedberg Concert Hall, Peabody Institute, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place.
Speaker: Soprano Marni Nixon, renowned playback singer for actresses in several well-known movie musicals, including Natalie Wood’s performance in “West Side Story,” earning her the nickname “The Voice of Hollywood.” Her career has spanned genres from opera to popular music, and she has been awarded 26 Emmy Awards and four personal Emmy’s for best actress for her children’s television show “Boomerang,” which was in rerun for 25 years.

School of Education Diploma Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 26, 7:30 p.m., Homewood Field, Homewood campus.
Speaker: Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the long-running innovative, educational children’s television show, “Sesame Street.” Knell has been instrumental in bringing about the show’s groundbreaking co-productions in South Africa, India, Northern Ireland, and Egypt.

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Master’s Diploma Award Ceremony
Friday, May 27, 10 a.m., Homewood Field, Homewood campus.
Speaker: Thomas Lovejoy, the biodiversity chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment based in Washington, D.C.  His lifelong appreciation of wildlife led him to a career devoted to studying biodiversity and raising awareness for environmental preservation, from the creation of the concept of debt-for-nature swaps and to founding the PBS show “Nature.”

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