About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 17, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 35
Ceremonies Put Cap on 128th Year

Academic divisions will unite in one universitywide event

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

The Latin root of the word confer, conferre, means "to bring together." On Thursday morning, President William R. Brody will once again recognize the true meaning of this source term when he confers degrees and certificates on 5,819 graduating scholars, literally bringing together all the university's divisions for a single celebration of scholarship, a journey's end and everything Johns Hopkins.

The universitywide commencement forms the centerpiece for this week's various ceremonies that formally conclude JHU's 128th academic year.

"As we are quite a decentralized university, the universitywide commencement is a place for scholars from across the entire Hopkins community to come together to recognize the academic achievements of all our graduating students," Brody said. "It is, in effect, a time and place to celebrate the scholarship of our university, as exemplified by our graduating students."

In the second year of a new tradition, the universitywide commencement, Homewood undergraduate and SPSBE diploma ceremonies will be held at Homewood Field, located at the northern end of the Homewood campus. The Krieger School's master's ceremony will be held there this year as well. The stadium holds up to 9,000 people — no tickets necessary.

In the event of rain, ceremonies will go on if possible, and ponchos will be provided by the university. (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.)

The universitywide ceremony, to be held at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 20, will feature the conferring of all degrees; recognize the new members of the Society of Scholars, who will be inducted on May 19; and bestow honorary degrees upon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and two emeritus Johns Hopkins faculty members, J.G.A. Pocock, the Harry C. Black Professor of History Emeritus, and Hamilton O. Smith, a co-winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in medicine who served on the School of Medicine faculty from 1967 to 1998 (see story on honorary degree recipients, page 3). 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 comedian/actor Bill Cosby; John Corigliano, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer; and Nicholas Burns, the United States ambassador to NATO.

Cosby, 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 20.

An entertainer, comedian and author, Cosby was born William H. Cosby Jr. in Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor's degree from Temple University and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts. His doctoral thesis was titled "The Integration of Visual Media Via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Into the Elementary Schools Culminating as a Teacher Aid to Achieve Increased Learning." His NBC hit The Cosby Show is credited by many for single-handedly resurrecting the sitcom genre. His book Fatherhood, published by Doubleday/Dolphin in May 1986, became the fastest-selling hardcover book of all time. It has sold 2.6 million hardcover copies and 1.5 million paperbacks worldwide. He began his television career in the 1960s serial I Spy, a co-starring role that broke the racial barrier of television.

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' master's diploma award ceremony will feature Daniel Weiss, the James B. Knapp Dean of the school. It will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 21, 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.

Aris Melissaratos, secretary for Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development, 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 19, on Homewood Field. Born in Romania, Melissaratos immigrated to the United States from Greece at the age of 13. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins. For 32 years, Melissaratos held a variety of positions at Westinghouse, most recently as vice president of science and technology and chief technology officer at the company's headquarters in Pittsburgh. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. named Melissaratos to his current position in January 2003. As secretary, Melissaratos directs the work of DBED in its mission to stimulate and strengthen Maryland's economy.

Marc Steiner, executive vice president of WYPR (formerly WJHU) and host of The Marc Steiner Show, 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 20, on Homewood Field.

The diploma ceremony speaker for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will be Nicholas Burns, ambassador to NATO since 2001. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, at Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets, N.W., in Washington, D.C. As ambassador, Burns promotes U.S. interests on the range of alliance issues, including counter-terrorism, the Balkans, missile defense and NATO's relations with the European Union. Prior to his current assignment, Burns was U.S. ambassador to Greece.

The School of Medicine will welcome Johns Hopkins faculty member John Cameron, the Alfred Blalock University Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery, at its ceremony, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, in the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. For 19 years, Cameron served as chief of surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has operated on more patients with pancreatic cancer, and done more Whipple resections, than any other surgeon in the world. Among his many national leadership positions are president of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, president of the Southern Surgical Association and president of the American Surgical Association.

The School of Public Health's diploma award ceremony will feature Ernest Crofoot, a Maryland-based activist for seniors, labor and health care reform. Crofoot is senior and health coordinator for Maryland and Washington, D.C.'s AFL-CIO. He serves as a commissioner on the Maryland Health Care Commission and the Maryland Nursing Home Oversight Commission. He previously was a commissioner on the Health Services Cost Review Commission and was a founding member of Care First of Maryland. He also serves on the board of directors of Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative and the Health Care for All campaign. The ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, 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 20, in Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus, will be May Wykle, dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. An expert in the field of aging adults, Wykle has been a member of the Case Western Reserve University faculty since 1969. Since 1988, she has served as director of Case's Center on Aging and Health. She has completed extensive international research projects in geriatric mental health, family care giving and minority caregivers. Next year, she will assume the presidency of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society.

Conductor John Corigliano will address the Peabody Conservatory graduates. The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, in the school's Friedberg Hall. Corigliano, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in music for his Symphony No. 2, is internationally celebrated as one of the leading composers of his generation. In March 2000, He won an Oscar for his film score for The Red Violin. Corigliano holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York and, in 1991, was named to the faculty of the Juilliard School.


About the graduating class...

The expected total number of earned degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded is 5,819, as follows:

1,334 bachelor's degrees, including 976 from the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering

3,692 master's degrees

476 doctoral degrees, 115 of which are in medicine

317 certificates and diplomas


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |