Ceremonies Put Cap on 128th Year
Academic divisions will unite in one universitywide
By Greg Rienzi
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
About the graduating class...
The expected total number of earned degrees,
certificates and diplomas awarded is 5,819, as
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
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