Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman of the board of IBM and chair of IBM’s executive committee, will return this spring to his alma mater as the featured speaker at this year’s university-wide commencement ceremony for graduates from all divisions and campuses of The Johns Hopkins University.
The event will take place, rain or shine, from 8:40 a.m. to approximately noon on Thursday, May 24, on Homewood Field, the stadium on the northern end of the university's Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. There will be a press section on the playing surface of Homewood Field. Identification is required; prior notification of intention to cover the ceremony is preferred. See above for contact information.
The ceremony will feature remarks from President Ronald J. Daniels and a speech by Palmisano, the conferring of all degrees, and bestowing of honorary degrees. In addition, all undergraduate students as well as doctoral students in attendance will have their names announced as they file on stage to have their degrees recognized. The majority of students will receive their diplomas following the event; others will receive them at separate diploma ceremonies at their respective schools.?
Prior to the ceremony, the undergraduates from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the School of Nursing and the Peabody Institute, will gather on the Keyser Quadrangle and walk through campus, passing through the Freshman Quad, where their academic journey started. All other graduates will enter from the Athletic Center. Following the ceremony, the newly minted alumni and their families will be invited to a reception on the Keyser Quadrangle.
The university is also once again putting its “green” principles into practice at commencement to create a zero-waste ceremony through several measures, including caps and gowns made from 100 percent recyclable materials, reusable stage decorations, and encouraging guests to bring reusable water bottles while also offering water in biodegradable bottles to help keep the crowed hydrated in warm weather. The commencement program will be printed on paper that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The reception will feature local caterers specializing in green practices, and biodegradable dinnerware and food scraps will be composted.
Palmisano, who earned his bachelor's degree in history from Johns Hopkins in 1973, will be awarded an honorary degree during the ceremony, along with fellow honorees Rita R. Colwell, an environmental microbiologist and worldwide leader in the fight to provide safe drinking water; Stephen H. Lewis, a Canadian diplomat, politician, broadcaster and academic dedicated to humanitarian service; John C. Malone, chair of Liberty Media and of Liberty Global, which provides broadband distribution and video programming in Europe, Latin America and Australia; Amartya Sen, a celebrated economist renowned for his trailblazing studies of social choice, welfare measurement and poverty; and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, revered around the world for her peaceful fight for democracy in Burma, who will be given her citation in absentia.
Noteworthy speakers at other Johns Hopkins commencement-related events – at various times and locations from Monday, May 21 through Friday, May 25 – include U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, who will speak to graduates of the School of Education; Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, who will speak to graduates of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, who will speak to graduates of the School of Medicine; Roy Haynes, jazz percussionist, who will speak to graduates of the Peabody Institute; and Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric and the chair of President Obama's Council of Jobs and Competitiveness, who will speak to graduates of the Carey Business School.
The total number of earned degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded is expected to be about 7,529, including 1,664 bachelor degrees (1,249 of which to be conferred upon seniors graduating from the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering at the Homewood campus) and 5,865 graduate degrees from across the university: 1,331 from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; 1,072 from the Whiting School of Engineering; 730 from the Carey Business School; 964 from the School of Education; 166 from the Peabody Institute; 111 from the School of Nursing; 484 from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); 294 from the School of Medicine; and 713 from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The university as a whole and its nine academic divisions will hold the following commencement events, listed by date:
Carey Business School
Monday, May 21, 3 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Cathedral and Preston streets.
Speaker: Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric and the chair of President Obama's Council of Jobs and Competitiveness.
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Wednesday, May 23, 1:30 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Speaker: Stephen Lewis, visiting professor at Ryerson University, and board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Whiting School of Engineering Graduate Ceremony
Wednesday, May 23, 7 p.m., Homewood Field, Homewood campus.
Speaker: Norman R. Augustine, retired chairman and chief executive officer, Lockheed Martin Corporation.
University-wide Commencement Ceremony and Arts and Sciences/Engineering Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony
Thursday, May 24, from 8:40 a.m. to approximately noon, Homewood Field
Speaker: Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman of the board of IBM and chair of IBM’s executive committee. Palmisano, who earned his undergraduate degree in history from Johns Hopkins in 1973, was invited by the senior class to be the speaker at this ceremony.
School of Medicine Diploma Award Ceremony
Tuesday, May 24, 2:30 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Speaker: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University.
Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Diploma Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 24, 3 p.m., DAR Constitution Hall, Constitution Hall, 18th and D Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Speaker: The Honorable Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and a SAIS graduate.
School of Nursing Diploma and Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 24, 3 p.m., France Merrick Performing Arts Center (Hippodrome Theatre), 12 North Eutaw St.
Speaker: Linda Burnes Bolton DrPH, RN, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer of Cedars-Sinai Health System and Research Institute.
The Peabody Institute Diploma Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 24, 7:30 p.m., Friedberg Concert Hall, Peabody Institute, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place.
Speaker: In lieu of a speech, legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Roy Haynes, this year’s recipient of the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America, will be interviewed briefly by faculty artist Nasar Abadey, a drummer and composer.
School of Education Diploma Award Ceremony
Thursday, May 24, 7:30 p.m., Homewood Field, Homewood campus.
Speaker: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin
Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Master's Diploma Award Ceremony
Friday, May 25, 10 a.m., Homewood Field, Homewood campus.
Speaker: Richard Koshalek, director of the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Read his full biography here.