An academic journey for thousands of Johns Hopkins
students nears its conclusion. On Thursday morning, President William R. Brody will
confer degrees and certificates on 6,131 JHU scholars, the
largest graduating class in the university's history.
The universitywide commencement forms the centerpiece
for this week's various ceremonies that formally conclude
JHU's 129th academic year.
commencement, Homewood undergraduate and SPSBE diploma
ceremonies will be held on Homewood Field. The Krieger
School's master's ceremony will be held there this year as
well. The stadium holds up to 9,000 people — no
In the event of rain, ceremonies will go on if
possible. (If it does become necessary to cancel or curtail
any of the ceremonies, announcements will be made on the
university Web site and on the weather emergency line at
The universitywide ceremony, to be held at 9:15 a.m.
on Thursday, May 26, will feature the conferring of all
degrees; recognize the new members of the Society of
Scholars, who will be inducted on May 25; and bestow
honorary degrees upon activist and rabbi Arthur Hertzberg;
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of
Thailand; and physicist and mathematician Edward Witten of
the Institute for Advanced Study. 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 each school. Ceremonies also
will include the announcement of awards that recognize the
contributions and achievements of students and faculty.
Among the speakers will be former Vice President Albert
Gore Jr.; Francis Collins, director of the National Human
Genome Research Institute at NIH; and Robert Rubin, former
U.S. Treasury secretary.
Al Gore, who will be awarded the honorary degree of
doctor of humane letters, will address seniors graduating
from the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering at
their diploma ceremony at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 26.
During the ceremony, the university will honor two
members of the class of 2005, Christopher Elser, who died
in April 2004, and Linda Trinh, who died in January 2005.
At the time of her death, Trinh had already earned enough
credits to receive her bachelor's degree in biomedical
engineering. It is anticipated that her father, Quy Trinh,
will accept his daughter's degree on her behalf during the
ceremony. Because Elser was a junior when he died, he did
not yet have enough credits to earn his undergraduate
degree. He will be awarded a certificate of merit, which
his younger sister, Taylor Elser, plans to receive on his
behalf during the ceremony.
Gore's career includes a lifetime of public service.
The son of a congressman, he holds degrees from Harvard and
the Vanderbilt University's School of Religion and School
of Law. After serving in the U.S. Army and working as an
investigative reporter for the Nashville Tennessean, he was
elected to public office in 1976 and served 17 years in
Congress, both as a representative and senator from
Tennessee. He served two terms as vice president under Bill
Clinton and unsuccessfully ran for president in the tightly
contested 2000 election. Recently, Gore announced the
creation of Current, a cable TV channel that will target
younger viewers with a blend of news and culture. Gore will
serve as chairman of the board of the new channel, which
premiers on Aug. 1.
The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' master's
diploma award ceremony will feature Daniel Weiss, the
outgoing James B. Knapp Dean of the school. It will be held
at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at Homewood Field. An art
historian and a member of the Johns Hopkins faculty since
1993, Weiss has won two JHU awards for teaching excellence.
He was appointed dean in February 2002. On Dec. 17, Weiss
was elected the 16th president of Lafayette College in
Easton, Pa. He will assume that post on July 1.
Loren Douglass, vice president of Merrill Lynch and
Co. and a university trustee, will speak to the gathered
graduates at the Whiting School of Engineering's graduate
ceremony, to be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, on
Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Olesker 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
26, on Homewood Field. The veteran journalist is the author
of two books from the JHU Press, Michael Olesker's
Baltimore: If You Live Here, You're Home (1995) and
Growing Up — and Growing Together — in
Baltimore: Journeys to the Heart of a City (2001).
The diploma ceremony speaker for the Paul H. Nitze
School of Advanced International Studies will be Robert
Rubin, U.S. Treasury secretary in the Clinton
administration. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday,
May 26, at Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets, N.W., in
Washington, D.C. Rubin is currently a director, chairman of
the Executive Committee and member of the Office of the
Chairman of Citigroup, in New York. Rubin has been involved
with financial markets and the nation's public policy
debate his entire professional life. He began his career in
finance at Goldman, Sachs and Co. in New York in 1966,
rising to co-senior partner and co-chairman, positions he
held from 1990 to 1992.
The School of Medicine will welcome Francis Collins at
its ceremony, to be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26,
in the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Collins
led the successful effort to complete the Human Genome
Project, a complex multidisciplinary scientific enterprise
directed at mapping and sequencing all the human DNA, and
determining aspects of its function. Following a fellowship
in human genetics at Yale, he joined the faculty at the
University of Michigan, where he remained until moving to
NIH in 1993. His research has led to the identification of
genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis,
Huntington's disease and Hutchison-Gilford progeria
syndrome. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and
the National Academy of Sciences.
The School of Public Health's diploma award ceremony
speaker will be the school's dean, Alfred Sommer. Sommer,
who has headed the school for the past 14 years, will step
down in September to return to research and teaching. The
ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, in
the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
The speaker for the School of Nursing graduation
ceremony, to be held at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, in
Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus, will be Martha Hill,
the school's dean since 2003. Hill is internationally known
for her work developing and testing strategies to improve
hypertension care and control among urban, underserved
African-Americans, particularly young men.
Composer George Crumb will address the Peabody
Conservatory graduates. The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m.
on Thursday, May 26, in the school's Friedberg Hall. Crumb,
the winner of a 2001 Grammy Award and the 1968 Pulitzer
Prize in Music, composes music that often juxtaposes
styles, which range from the Western art-music tradition to
hymn and folk music. Crumb recently retired from his
teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania. He
will be awarded the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding
Contributions to Music in America at the ceremony.