honorary degrees

Condoleezza Rice will be SMU’s 97th Commencement speaker

Condoleezza RiceFormer U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the address at SMU’s 97th Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Moody Coliseum.

SMU expects to award approximately 2,100 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony. Rice will receive one of two honorary degrees to be conferred in the ceremony.

Rice has achieved prominence in both government service and higher education. She currently holds three positions at Stanford University: professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science.

“Dr. Rice has led a distinguished career as a scholar, academic administrator and public official,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As a public official, she served our country during a time of unique challenges. As a teacher-scholar, she is devoted to the education of talented young people. She is well suited to provide compelling and wide-ranging perspectives as SMU’s Commencement speaker.”

Rice earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, a Master’s from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her academic career began in 1981 when she joined the Stanford faculty. A dedicated teacher, she has received two of the university’s highest teaching awards. She rose through the faculty ranks to serve as Stanford provost from 1993-99, the first woman and first African American to hold that position.

Rice’s first experience in government service came in 1989, when she left Stanford for Washington to serve for two years on the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush. She was the president’s special assistant for national security affairs during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany.

After returning to Stanford in 1991, Rice served as provost for six years before again joining public service on the staff of President George W. Bush. She was the president’s national security adviser from 2001-05. She then served from 2005-09 as the nation’s 66th secretary of state, the second woman and the first African American woman to hold the post.

Rice currently serves as chair of the Board of Advisers of the Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.

Philosopher Nancy CartwrightDuring the 2012 Commencement ceremony, SMU will confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon Rice and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters upon Nancy Cartwright (right), considered one of the most important and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Cartwright, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics.

The author of seven books, Cartwright has produced path-breaking work on issues such as the nature of physical laws, causation and scientific reasoning. She is a pioneer of today’s practice-based philosophy of science and helped develop the philosophy of social policy, economics, sociology, medicine, epidemiology and political science.

> Read the full story from SMU News
> Visit the Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Tune In: The Dalai Lama at SMU

The Dalai Lama, renowned spiritual leader of Tibet and a Nobel laureate recognized for his unwavering message of peace, delivered a special lecture at SMU’s 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum May 9 in McFarlin Auditorium. He also received a 2011 Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa from the University.

His Holiness spoke to approximately 2,000 local high school students, SMU faculty and staff, and about 500 members of the general public – with the University’s webcast going out to many more. The entire event is now available for YouTube viewing. Click the YouTube screen to watch, or open a video of the Dalai Lama’s visit to SMU in a new window. video

> See a slide show of the Dalai Lama at SMU slide show
> Ten thoughts from the Dalai Lama during his SMU visit

Join the celebration: SMU Commencement 2011

SMU Commencement 2010 school standards photo by Jake Dean

SMU observes its 96th Commencement May 13-14 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 14 in Moody Coliseum. The University expects to award undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to more than 2,100 students.

Some major events at a glance:

May 12Honorary Degree Symposium on the Constitutional Court of South Africa honoring Justice Pius Nkonzo Langa, 5 p.m., 201 Florence Hall, Law Quad
May 13 – Class of 2011 Group Photo, 6:30 p.m., Main Quad (full academic regalia)
May 13-14Class of 1961 Golden Reunion, various times and locations
May 13Baccalaureate followed by Rotunda Recessional, 8 p.m., McFarlin Auditorium
May 14Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
May 14All-University Commencement, 9:30 a.m., Moody Coliseum
May 14Commencement Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., RFoC @ Lee, Umphrey Lee Center
May 14School diploma presentations, various times and locations

> RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and Processional
> Learn more about Sen. John Cornyn
> Find highlights from the SMU visit of the Dalai Lama, 2011 honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipient
> Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage at smu.edu/commencement

(Above, the school standard bearers from SMU Commencement 2010. Photo by Jake Dean.)

Calendar Highlights: Commencement Week, May 10, 2011

Commencement 2010 assembly photo by Hillsman S. JacksonSave the date: Make plans to attend the 2011 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The annual celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, rain or shine. Stay up-to-date on picnic plans at the Staff Association website.

Catch them while you can: Make plans to visit these SMU exhibitions before they close:

Commencement Countdown 2011:

> Learn more at the Registrar’s Commencement 2011 website
> RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and Processional
> Read more about U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the 2011 Commencement speaker

(Right, participants assemble for Commencement 2010. Photo by Hillsman S. Jackson.)

Tune In: Watch the Dalai Lama live at SMU May 9, 2011

His Holiness the Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama, renowned spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel laureate, will deliver a special lecture and receive an honorary degree at SMU’s 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2011 in McFarlin Auditorium.

No tickets remain available for the event, but you can still watch His Holiness’ speech and honorary degree ceremony live via webcast. Streaming begins about one half-hour before the 2:30 p.m. start time at smu.edu/live.

> Learn more about the Dalai Lama’s visit from smu.edu/dalailama

The Dalai Lama to speak at SMU, receive honorary degree May 9, 2011

His Holiness the Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama, renowned spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel laureate, will deliver a special lecture and receive an honorary degree at SMU’s 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2011 in McFarlin Auditorium.

His Holiness will speak to approximately 2,500 guests, primarily local high school students and SMU students and faculty. Current SMU students, faculty and staff will be able to obtain up to two tickets beginning May 3 at the Mane Desk. A valid SMU ID and birthdate for all attendees is required to pick up tickets. Tickets are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the general public by online request. UPDATE: Due to overwhelming demand, tickets for the general public are sold out. Members of the general (non-SMU) public may join a ticket waiting list.

The Dalai Lama’s visit comes during an important period of transition, as the 76-year-old leader announced in mid-March that he will retire as head of state for the Tibetan government-in-exile to focus on spiritual matters. The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his consistent opposition to the use of violence in his campaign to end Chinese rule in Tibet.

Since its inception in 1999, the Hart Global Leaders program has brought a series of prestigious speakers to the SMU campus for seminars and forums, including former Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The program is committed to the development of young people into ethical, responsible leaders and citizens and is made possible through the generosity of Mitch and Linda W. Hart.

> Learn more about the Dalai Lama’s visit from smu.edu/dalailama

Time to celebrate: Commencement 2010 at a glance

Candidate assembly, SMU Commencement 2009.jpg

SMU observes its 95th Commencement May 14-15 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

U.S. Trade Representative and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 15 in Moody Coliseum. The University expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

Some major events at a glance:

  • May 14-15 – Class of 1960 Golden Reunion
  • May 14 – Honorary Degree Symposia honoring Jorie Graham, Karinna Moskalenko and Saul Perlmutter
  • May 14 – Baccalaureate, featuring an address by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, and Rotunda Recessional
  • May 15 – Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
  • May 15 – All-University Commencement
  • May 15 – School diploma presentations

> Learn more about Ron Kirk
> Find times and locations for the 2010 Honorary Degree Symposia
> See who’s speaking at the school and department diploma ceremonies
> Read student stories from SMU News
> Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage

Calendar Highlights: Commencement Week, May 11, 2010

SMU Baccalaureate 2009Save the date: Make plans now for the 2010 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The annual celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 20 on the south lawn of Clements Hall.

Commencement Countdown 2010:

May 14-15: Class of 1960 Golden Reunion
May 14: 2010 Honorary Degree Symposia
May 14: Baccalaureate and Rotunda Recessional
May 15: Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
May 15: All-University Commencement
May 15: School and departmental diploma ceremonies

> Visit the Registrar’s Commencement 2010 website
> Read more about U.S. Trade Representative and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, SMU’s 2010 Commencement speaker

2010 honorary degree recipients take part in symposia May 14

SMU will welcome its 2010 honorary degree recipients with a series of symposia in their honor. All are scheduled for May 14, and all are free and open to the entire campus community.

Poet Jorie Graham• Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and MacArthur Award winner Jorie Graham, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard University, will take part in a poetry reading and conversation with the SMU community at 2 p.m. in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room, DeGolyer Library.

Human rights lawyer Karinna MoskolenkoKarinna Moskalenko, Russia’s leading human rights lawyer, will discuss “Russia, Europe and Human Rights” at 3:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Professor Jeffrey Kahn of SMU’s Dedman School of Law will moderate, with Nuala Mole, founder and director of the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), presenting. A reception precedes the symposium at 2:30 p.m. in the Dallas Hall Rotunda.

Physicist Saul Perlmutter• UC-Berkeley physicist Saul Perlmutter, head of the Supernova Cosmology Project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will speak on “Stalking Dark Energy and the Mystery of the Accelerating Universe” at 3 p.m. in the Fondren Science Building, Room 123.

> Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage

SMU to confer three honorary degrees at 2010 Commencement

A poet, physicist and human rights lawyer will receive honorary degrees at SMU’s 95th Commencement ceremony May 15 at 9:30 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. University of California-Berkeley physicist Saul Perlmutter will receive the honorary Doctor of Science degree, and Russian human rights lawyer Karinna Akopovna Moskalenko will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Poet Jorie GrahamJorie Graham, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and MacArthur Award winner, currently is Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard University. She has been an accomplished and controversial figure since the publication of her first volume, Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts, 30 years ago. Expanding the limits of poetry to incorporate an ever-enlarging focus on history, social and scientific issues, as well as the traditional subjects of love and the inner life, she has changed what one thinks of as a poem. Raised in Rome and educated at the Sorbonne and New York University, Graham taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop before assuming the Harvard chair formerly occupied by John Quincy Adams, Robert Fitzgerald and Seamus Heaney.

Physicist Saul PerlmutterSaul Perlmutter is professor of physics at the University of California-Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D. He also is head of the Supernova Cosmology Project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He leads an international team that studied distant exploding stars to measure how fast the universe was expanding at different times in its history. Using novel observational techniques, his work contradicted the long-held assumption that expansion of the universe is slowing due to gravity. Perlmutter provided firm evidence for the existence of dark energy as the majority substance of the universe, a substance whose precise nature remains a major mystery in physics.

Human rights lawyer Karinna MoskolenkoKarinna Akopovna Moskalenko, Russia’s leading human rights lawyer, studied law at Leningrad State University and later specialized in human rights at the University of Birmingham in England. She is respected worldwide for her advocacy on behalf of clients rich and poor, voiceless casualties of war and vocal critics of the Kremlin. Moskalenko and her team at the International Protection Centre, the human rights organization she founded, have won more than 90 cases before the European Court of Human Rights, whose judgments have been legally binding on Russia since 1998. She has been elected to the International Commission of Jurists and awarded the International Helsinki Federation‘s Human Rights Recognition Award and the Justice William J. Brennan Award.

SMU expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to students at the Universitywide Commencement ceremony. The University’s schools and departments will hold individual diploma ceremonies later that day.

> Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage

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