The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 20, 2002
May 20, 2002
VOL. 31, NO. 35


Ceremonies Put Cap on 126th Year

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

A chapter closes and a new one begins for the more than 5,500 students who will receive degrees and certificates from the various divisions of The Johns Hopkins University this week. The university's 126th academic year is drawing to a close, and once again it is time to honor those ending their scholarly journey.

In the second year of a new tradition, the universitywide commencement and Homewood undergraduate diploma ceremonies will be held under a tent on Garland Field, located at the southern end of the Homewood campus.

The universitywide ceremony, to be held at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, will feature the conferring of all degrees; recognize the new members of the Society of Scholars, who will be inducted on May 22 (see story); and bestow honorary degrees upon Purnell Choppin, Ranice Crosby and Robert Mundell (see story). President William R. Brody will deliver the address.

In addition, the university's eight academic divisions will hold diploma award ceremonies this week featuring keynote speakers selected by representatives of each school.

Among the speakers will be broadcast news anchor Tom Brokaw, singer and conductor Bobby McFerrin and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Laurie Garrett. Ceremonies also will include the announcement of awards that recognize the contributions and achievements of students and faculty.

Tom Brokaw will speak and receive an honorary degree at the A&S/WSE ceremony.

Brokaw, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, will address seniors graduating from the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering at their joint diploma ceremony at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. He will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, as will baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr.

Brokaw has anchored Nightly News since 1983 and has won broadcasting's most prestigious honors, including the Alfred I. Dupont and George Foster Peabody awards. He also wrote the widely praised The Greatest Generation, an account of the Americans born in the 1920s who came of age during the Great Depression and fought in World War II.

Ripken's honorary degree from Hopkins will be his first. The longtime Baltimore Oriole holds the record for consecutive games played and is one of only seven players ever to record 3,000 hits and 400 runs in his major league career. He is also known for his work off the field. The Kelly and Cal Ripken Jr. Foundation supports the Baltimore Reads Ripken Learning Center and the Kelly G. Ripken Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which provides thyroid education and patient care. After breaking Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games in 1995, Ripken helped establish the Johns Hopkins ALS Cal Ripken Jr./Lou Gehrig Fund to find a cure for the fatal neuromuscular disease.

The Krieger School's master's diploma award ceremony will feature Bernard A. Schwetz, senior research scientist at the Food and Drug Administration. The ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, in Homewood's Shriver Hall.

Suzanne Jenniches, vice president for communication and electronic systems at Northrop Grumman Corp., will speak to the gathered graduates at the Whiting School's master's diploma ceremony, to be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, on Garland Field.

Cornelius J. "Neil" Behan, former Baltimore County chief of police and New York City chief of patrol, will be the speaker at the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education undergraduate and graduate diploma award ceremony, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, on Garland Field.

The diploma ceremony speaker for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will be CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Blitzer, a 1972 SAIS graduate whose journalism career spans nearly three decades, joined CNN in 1990 as a military affairs correspondent based at the Pentagon. From 1992 to 1999, he served as CNN's senior White House correspondent. For his coverage, he has received an Emmy and the American Journalism Review's Best in the Business Award. Blitzer currently anchors CNN's nightly Wolf Blitzer Reports and Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on Sundays.

Alumnus Wolf Blitzer returns to SAIS to give the commencement address.

The School of Medicine will welcome longtime Hopkins faculty member and administrator Donald A. Henderson at its graduation ceremony, to be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, in the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St.

Henderson is the founder and former director of JHU's Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He left his Hopkins post last fall to spend six months as the founding director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Having left that post in early May, he continues as principal science adviser to HHS secretary Tommy G. Thompson and will be chairman of a new federal advisory committee on bioterror preparedness.

D.A. Henderson will be the speaker at the School of Medicine's ceremonies.

Henderson is credited for leading the World Health Organization's effort to eradicate smallpox, a task completed in 1977. From 1977 to 1990, he was dean of the School of Public Health at Hopkins. He later served as senior science adviser in the administration of President George H. Bush before returning to Hopkins in 1995.

The Bloomberg School of Public Health's diploma award ceremony will feature author Laurie Garrett. The ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Garrett is the only writer ever to have been awarded all three of the big "Ps" of journalism: the Peabody, the Polk (twice) and the Pulitzer. She is the author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. A veteran of print and radio, Garrett spent eight years as a bureau reporter with National Public Radio. Since 1988, Garrett has been a medical and science writer for Newsday. She has reported on numerous health issues including AIDS in Africa, breast cancer and world hunger.

This year's speaker for the School of Nursing graduation ceremony, to be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, in Turner Auditorium at the School of Medicine, is Linda Cronenwett, dean and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Cronenwett served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and also has worked in maternity and pediatric nursing. She has taught at Stanford University and the University of Michigan and spent 14 years as a nurse researcher and administrator at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, where she also served as president of the New Hampshire Nurses Association. She was chair of the American Nurses' Association's Congress of Nursing Practice and has received numerous awards for practice and research in the field of nursing.

Vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin will address the Peabody Conservatory graduates. The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, in the school's Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall.

Bobby McFerrin will address the Peabody graduates.

A 10-time Grammy Award winner, McFerrin is one of the world's best-known vocal innovators and improvisers, and a renowned classical conductor. He began his career as a pianist but ventured into vocalization in the late 1970s, when he toured with jazz vocal pioneer Jon Hendricks. In 1983, he toured Europe for the first time, as an unaccompanied vocalist performing without any prepared material. Following his 1988 smash hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," he began a serious study of conducting, including lessons with Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Meier and Seiji Ozawa. His collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and orchestras across the country, including his role as creative director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, have solidified him as one of the "greatest communicators" of classical music.

For additional information about commencement ceremonies, go to The site is updated frequently.

About the Graduating Class

The total number of earned degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded is expected to be about 5,549, as follows:

1,261 bachelor's degrees, including 1,010 seniors graduating from the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering

3,648 master's degrees

580 doctoral degrees, 114 of which are medical degrees

60 certificates and diplomas