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ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Commencement Set for May 24

May 22, 2018
CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Office: 443-997-9906
Cell: 443-547-8805
jrosen@jhu.edu @JHUmediareps

About 1,500 students will claim their degrees Thursday, May 24, at the commencement ceremony for all of Johns Hopkins University’s divisions and campuses.

Lawyer and social justice activist Bryan A. Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that has helped more than 125 wrongly condemned people on death row, will be the speaker. He will also receive an honorary degree at the event. (More background information here.)

Commencement will take place at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., in downtown Baltimore. The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. and the arena will open at noon.

To cover the ceremony, reporters will be required to RSVP and show media credentials to enter the arena.

The ceremony will feature remarks from university President Ronald J. Daniels, the conferring of degrees and the bestowing of honorary degrees. In addition, all students in attendance will have their names announced as they file on stage to have their degrees recognized. Students will receive diplomas following the event.

In addition to Stevenson, this year’s honorary degree recipients are:

David H. Bernstein: A businessman, philanthropist and trustee emeritus of both the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine, Bernstein earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1957 from what is now the university’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. In 1966, he became president of Baltimore’s Samuel Meisel and Co. and transformed it into Duty Free International, which, upon his retirement in 1992, had become the leading operator of duty-free stores along the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico and in international airports. Bernstein is now a consultant with the International Association of Airport Duty Free Stores, the industry organization he presided over for 18 years. He is also one of the owners of the Baltimore Orioles. At Johns Hopkins, he has supported scholarships, construction, an annual lecture series, the men’s lacrosse team, and several endowed professorships.

Mellody Hobson: Hobson is the president of Ariel Investments, one of the country’s largest African-American-owned investment firms. Her team manages more than $13 billion in assets. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets, and economic trends for CBS News and contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and writes a column for Black Enterprise magazine. She is a board member of the George Lucas Educational Foundation and serves as chair of After School Matters, a nonprofit that provides Chicago teens with high-quality out-of-school-time programs. In addition to serving on the boards of directors for the Estée Lauder Companies Inc., JPMorgan Chase, Starbucks Corp., the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Hobson was named to Time Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

George Lucas: A director, producer, screenwriter, and special effects innovator, Lucas is best known for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Before Lucas, science fiction and fantasy movies weren’t big moneymakers, but in 1977, the blockbuster film Star Wars broke the mold, grossing $775 million worldwide, winning seven Academy Awards, and launching a saga that delights audiences today. His company Lucasfilm Ltd. developed cutting-edge special effects, sound, and computer animation. In 2012, he sold Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Co., which enabled him to dedicate more time to his role in the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which he founded in 1991. Driven by Lucas’s own disappointing experiences as a young student, the foundation promotes innovative, replicable, and evidence-based programs and practices that prepare students to thrive in school.

Douglas Miles: Bishop Miles is a Baltimore civic leader and a Johns Hopkins University alumnus who has dedicated his life to fighting for social justice in his hometown. When Miles enrolled at Johns Hopkins in 1966, he was one of only 14 African-American students at the university. He was among a group of black students on campus who urged the administration to hire more African-American faculty and established the Black Student Union in 1968. After earning a bachelor’s degree in humanistic studies in 1970, he went on to found the Koinonia Baptist Church with his wife, Rosanna, in 1992. He is co-chair of a nearly 40-year-old community organizing group called BUILD, short for Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development. He is a key partner in university initiatives including HopkinsLocal and BLocal.

Solomon H. Snyder: A Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Snyder is known for figuring out how the brain receives and transmits messages — a discovery that has been translated into therapies for psychiatric disorders, pain, and strokes. Snyder began his tenure at Johns Hopkins in 1965 as an assistant resident in psychiatry. In 1966, he joined the Hopkins faculty, becoming the youngest full professor in the university’s history. In 1980, he founded the School of Medicine’s Department of Neuroscience, which was renamed the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience in 2006. His honors include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the U.S. National Academy of Science Award in Neuroscience, and the National Medal of Science.

About the Graduating Class (as of May 16):

The total number of earned degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded for the 2017-2018 academic year is expected to be about 8,900. That includes:

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: 2,480

Whiting School of Engineering: 1,797

Carey Business School: 1,140

School of Education: 912

Peabody Institute: 224

School of Nursing: 399

Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies: 674

School of Medicine: 274

Bloomberg School of Public Health: 1,049

About the other ceremonies:

The nine academic divisions will hold the following additional commencement events:

School of Public Health
Tuesday, May 22, 3 p.m., Royal Farms Arena
Speaker: Leana Wen, Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore

School of Nursing
Tuesday, May 22, 11 a.m., Hippodrome Theatre
Speaker: Mark Ganz, President and CEO of Cambia Health Solutions

Carey Business School
Tuesday, May 22, 3 p.m., Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Speaker: Kenneth W. Freeman, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean in Management, Boston University Questrom School of Business

School of Education
Wednesday, May 23, 9 a.m., Royal Farms Arena
Speaker: William E. “Brit” Kirwan, University System of Maryland Chancellor Emeritus

Whiting School of Engineering – Graduate
Tuesday, May 22, 10 a.m., Royal Farms Arena
Speaker: Ralph D. Semmel, Director, Applied Physics Laboratory

School of Medicine
Wednesday, May 23, 2:30 p.m., Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Speaker: Betsy Nabel, M.D., President of Harvard-affiliated Brigham Health, cardiologist and distinguished biomedical researcher, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School

School of Advanced International Studies
Wednesday, May 23, 11 a.m., DAR Constitution Hall
Speaker: Michéle Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, WestExec Advisors

Peabody Conservatory
Wednesday, May 23, 10 a.m., Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall
Speaker: Deborah F. Rutter, President of the Kennedy Center

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences – Graduate Ceremony
Wednesday, May 23, 3 p.m., Royal Farms Arena
Speaker: Jeffrey Selingo, author and columnist (KSAS, ’01)

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