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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 22, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 35
Ceremonies Put Cap on 130th Year

Academic divisions will unite in one universitywide event

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Assuredly with more personal mountains still to climb, thousands of Johns Hopkins students will stop and reflect this week upon a monumental peak reached. On Thursday morning, President William R. Brody will confer degrees and certificates on a record-high 6,192 JHU scholars.

The universitywide commencement forms the centerpiece for this week's various ceremonies that formally conclude JHU's 130th academic year.

The universitywide commencement and Homewood undergraduate and SPSBE diploma ceremonies will be held on Homewood Field; the Krieger School's master's ceremony and Whiting School's graduate ceremony will be held there this year as well. 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.)

The universitywide ceremony, to be held at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, will feature the conferring of all degrees; recognize the new members of the Society of Scholars, who will be inducted on May 24; and bestow honorary degrees upon Carl Taylor, professor emeritus at the School of Public Health and the "founding father" of academic international public health; R. Champlin Sheridan, university trustee emeritus and founder of the Sheridan Group; and Marie-Claire Alain, the world-renowned organist. 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 New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and former chair of the university's board of trustees; Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency; NASA administrator Michael Griffin; and Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health.

Zerhouni 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 25.

The former vice dean of Johns Hopkins' School of Medicine, Zerhouni now leads the nation's medical research agency and oversees the NIH's 27 institutes and centers with more than 17,000 employees and a fiscal year 2006 budget of $28.6 billion. Zerhouni, a well-respected leader in the fields of radiology and medicine, has spent his career providing clinical, scientific and administrative leadership. He was born in Nedroma, Algeria, and came to the United States at age 24, having earned his medical degree at the University of Algiers School of Medicine in 1975. Since 2000, he has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. In 1988, he was a consultant to the World Health Organization and in 1985, a consultant to the White House under President Ronald Reagan. He served two stints with Johns Hopkins, from 1979 to 1985, and from 1992 to 2002. Before becoming vice dean, Zerhouni was chairman of the Radiology Department.

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' master's diploma award ceremony will feature Alice McDermott, an award-winning novelist and the Richard A. Macksey Professor in the university's Writing Seminars. It will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 26, on Homewood Field. McDermott's novel Charming Billy won the 1998 National Book Award. She is the author of five novels, the latest of which, Child of My Heart, was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and a New York Times Notable Book. Her next novel, After This, will be published in September.

Michael Griffin, NASA administrator and former head of the Space Department at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory, will speak at the Whiting School of Engineering's graduate ceremony, to be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, on Homewood Field. Griffin, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Johns Hopkins, began his duties at NASA in April 2005. As its 11th administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the U.S. vision for space exploration. Before serving as Space Department head at APL, he was president and CEO of In-Q-Tel and served in several executive positions within Orbital Sciences Corp. Earlier in his career, Griffin served as chief engineer and as associate administrator for exploration at NASA.

Hopkins' own Pete Peterson 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 25, on Homewood Field. Peterson, associate dean of the Graduate Division of Business and Management, will retire this year after more than 25 years of service to Johns Hopkins.

The diploma ceremony speaker for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will be Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1997 and a member of the organization since 1984. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at Constitution Hall in Washington. ElBaradei was born in Cairo, Egypt, and began his career in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964. From 1974 to 1978 he was a special assistant to the foreign minister of Egypt.

In 1980, ElBaradei joined the United Nations and became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. In October 2005, ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts "to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way." He has received multiple other awards for his work, including the Nile Collar, the highest Egyptian decoration.

The School of Medicine will welcome Michael Bloomberg, the 108th mayor of the City of New York, at its ceremony, which is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, in the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Bloomberg was chairman of the university's board of trustees from 1996 to 2002 and previously was chairman of the Johns Hopkins Initiative fundraising campaign.

The founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., a worldwide business news and information company, he has given the largest single gift in the 125-year history of the Johns Hopkins Institutions and in all has contributed more than $107 million to his alma mater. Of the $100 million he gave to the Johns Hopkins Initiative, which concluded last year, $35 million was designated for the unrestricted use of what is now known as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The School of Public Health's diploma award ceremony speaker will be Paul Farmer, an attending physician in infectious diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and medical director of the Clinique Bon Sauveur in Haiti. Farmer is also a founding director of Partners in Health, which provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, in the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Dean Martha Hill will be the speaker for the School of Nursing's two graduation ceremonies, scheduled for 1 and 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, in Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus. Hill, the school's dean since 2003, is internationally known for her work developing and testing strategies to improve hypertension care and control among urban, underserved African-Americans, particularly young men.

Pianist and educator Gilbert Kalish will address the Peabody Conservatory graduates. The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, in the school's Friedberg Hall. A major figure in American music making, Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabella Vengerova. He has been the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players since 1969 and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. His 30-year partnership with mezzo-soprano Jan De Gaetani is universally recognized as one of the most remarkable artistic collaborations of modern time.

Kalish is currently a professor and head of performance activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has also served on the faculty and as chairman of the Tanglewood Music Center. His vast catalog of recordings includes classical works, modern masterwork compositions and original compositions. At the ceremony, he will be awarded the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America.


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