Last Friday, nearly 350 finals-weary School of Public
Health students, and an assortment of the school's faculty,
packed the Mansion House at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
for a night of cocktails, food and dancing. On Saturday, a
similar number of Engineering and Arts and Sciences seniors
came finely dressed to a five-star Cupcakes and Champagne
Social in Homewood's Decker Garden.
For both groups, the events were a moment to revel in
the completion of an academic journey. It also was a time
for goodbyes, as in just a few days these individuals would
no longer be students; they would be Johns Hopkins alumni
— a group that is about to get a big surge in
On Thursday morning, President William R. Brody will
confer degrees and certificates on a record-high 6,348 JHU
The universitywide commencement forms the centerpiece
for this week's various ceremonies that formally conclude
JHU's 131st academic year.
The universitywide commencement and Homewood
undergraduate diploma ceremonies will be held on Homewood
Field, as will the Krieger School's master's ceremony, the
Whiting School's graduate ceremony and the joint
undergraduate and graduate diploma ceremonies for the Carey
Business School and the School of Education. The stadium
holds 9,000 people — no tickets necessary. 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 410-516-7781.)
Other ceremonies will take place in venues throughout
Baltimore and in Washington, D.C.
The universitywide ceremony, to be held at 9:15 a.m. on
May 17, will feature the conferring of all degrees;
recognize the new members of the Society of Scholars, who
will be inducted on May 16; and bestow honorary degrees upon
R. Champlin Sheridan, university trustee emeritus and
founder of the Sheridan Group; and M. Roy Schwarz, a
physician, educator and president of the China Medical Board
of New York.
In addition, all of the university's academic divisions
will hold diploma award ceremonies this week featuring
keynote speakers selected by each school. Ceremonies will
include the announcement of awards that recognize the
contributions and achievements of students and faculty.
Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick, who led his
team to a Super Bowl championship in 2000, will address
graduates of the schools of Arts and Sciences and
Engineering at their diploma ceremony at 1:45 p.m. on
Thursday, May 17, on Homewood Field. Billick became head
coach in 1999 and has guided the team to four
The Krieger School's master's diploma award ceremony
will feature Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, former president of
the Institute of Genome Sciences and newly appointed
director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Institute of Genome Sciences. The ceremony will be held at
10 a.m. on Friday, May 18, on Homewood Field.
Frannie A. Leautier, managing partner of the Fezembat
Group in Castelnau de Montmiral, France, will speak at the
Whiting School of Engineering's graduate ceremony, to be
held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, on Homewood Field.
Leautier founded the Fezembat Group, a risk-management firm,
after a 15-year tenure at the World Bank, where she held
various positions, including vice president of the World
Stanley C. Gabor, dean emeritus of the former School of
Professional Studies in Business and Education, will be the
speaker at the joint Carey Business School and School of
Education undergraduate and graduate diploma (except EdDs)
award ceremony, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17,
on Homewood Field. The two schools, whose programs began the
academic year as part of SPSBE, will hold separate
ceremonies in 2008. Gabor served as dean of SPSBE from 1982
to 1999, following 20 years at New York University.
The diploma ceremony speaker for the Paul H. Nitze
School of Advanced International Studies will be Sir David
Manning, British ambassador to the United States and a 1972
SAIS Bologna Center graduate. The event will be at 3 p.m. on
Thursday, May 17, at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
Sir David took up his appointment on Sept. 2, 2003, after
serving as foreign policy adviser to the prime minister.
The School of Medicine will welcome Atul Gawande,
assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and
Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. Gawande's
research focuses on problems at the intersection of surgery
and public health, with an emphasis on error in surgery.
Since 1998, Gawande has been a staff writer for The New
Yorker. The ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May
17, in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
The School of Public Health's speaker will be John M.
Barry, author and distinguished visiting scholar at the
Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier
universities. His book How It Changed America was named a
"notable book of the year" by The New York Times and "best
nonfiction of the year" by The Los Angeles Times. The
ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, in
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Rear Adm. Carol A. Romano, chief nurse officer of the
U.S. Public Health Service, will be the speaker for the
School of Nursing ceremony, to be held at 9 a.m. on
Wednesday, May 16, at the France-Merrick Performing Arts
Center (the Hippodrome). Romano, a pioneer in the field of
nursing informatics, provides leadership and coordination of
Public Health Service nursing affairs for the Office of the
Quincy Jones, the most Grammy-nominated artist of all
time, will address the Peabody Conservatory graduates. The
ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, in
the school's Friedberg Hall. Among his many accomplishments,
Jones has won 27 Grammys, produced the best-selling album of
all time (Michael Jackson's Thriller) and the best-selling
single of all time ("We Are the World") and scored 34 major
motion pictures. Jones will receive the George Peabody
Medal, the highest honor the Peabody Institute bestows.
For more information on all the Johns Hopkins
graduation ceremonies, go to