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Drexel University Announces 2019 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

Drexel University President John Fry speaking at the 2018 University-wide commencement ceremony.
Drexel University President John Fry speaking at the 2018 University-wide commencement ceremony.

This year, Drexel University will host 16 different speakers at its various commencement ceremonies, including its 15 college and school ceremonies and one University-wide event held in Citizens Bank Park. The speakers come from an array of backgrounds and industries, but all have great accomplishments in their fields and will have words of wisdom to bestow upon this year’s graduating class of Dragons.

Some of the speakers have already been announced. For example, the speaker for the 2019 University-wide ceremony held on June 14 will be Merck & Co., Inc. Chairman and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier, JD. The speaker for the May 15 commencement for the Kline School of Law will be U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone, JD, who made history in January when she issued a nationwide injunction that prevented the Trump administration from barring women’s access to free birth control as provided under the Affordable Care Act. Former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin, MD, will address the College of Medicine’s 2019 graduates at its May 17 ceremony; he will be returning to Drexel, where he previously served as co-chair of the Department of Medicine and, later, vice dean of the College of Medicine and graduated with his MD from one of the College’s predecessor institutions, the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Now, the University has released the full lineup of speakers for this year’s 16 commencement ceremonies, and they include alumni, writers, professors and philanthropists. This year’s honorary degree recipients have also been announced.

Here are the speakers and honorary degree recipients that will address the graduating Dragons at the upcoming commencement ceremonies:

Thomas R. Kline School of Law: May 15, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

  • The Honorable Wendy Beetlestone will address graduates at the Kline School of Law’s ceremony at 2 p.m.

College of Medicine: May 17, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

  • David J. Shulkin, MD ’86, will speak at the College of Medicine’s commencement at 9 a.m.

LeBow College of Business: June 13, The Mann Center

  • Dana Dornsife ’83, HD ’14, philanthropist and founder of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, is the confirmed speaker for the LeBow College of Business’ ceremony at 8:30 a.m.

College of Computing & Informatics: June 13, Daskalakis Athletic Center

  • J. Michael Lawrie ’77, CEO of DXC Technology Co. and Drexel Trustee, will address the graduates of the College of Computing & Informatics at 9 a.m.

Pennoni Honors College: June 13, Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery, Main Building

  • Sandeep Jauhar, MD, an acclaimed cardiologist and writer, will speak at the Pennoni Honors College’s ceremony for custom-designed majors at 9 a.m.

Close School of Entrepreneurship: June 13, Mandell Theater

  • William R. Schutt ’67, founder, former owner and chairman of MATCOR, Inc., will address graduates at the Close School of Entrepreneurship’s commencement ceremony at 9 a.m.

College of Engineering: June 13, The Mann Center

  • Retired Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology at IBM Nicholas Donofrio will speak at the College of Engineering’s event at 1 p.m.

Center for Food & Hospitality Management: June 13, Mandell Theater

  • Tim Carman, a Washington Post food writer, will address graduates from the Center for Food & Hospitality Management at 1 p.m.

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems: June 13, Daskalakis Athletic Center

  • Elisa Konofagou, PhD, Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Radiology, Columbia University, will speak at the school’s event at 1 p.m.

College of Arts and Sciences: June 13, The Mann Center

  • Judy Wicks, author, activist and entrepreneur, will address graduates at the College of Arts and Sciences’ commencement at 5 p.m.

School of Education: June 13, Daskalakis Athletic Center

  • Malika Savoy-Brooks, PhD, chief of academic success for the School District of Philadelphia, will speak at the school’s event at 5 p.m.

Goodwin College of Professional Studies: June 13, Mandell Theater

  • Nora Kzirian ’17, senior manager of customer communications and marketing at Comcast, will address graduates at the Goodwin College of Professional Studies’ ceremony at 5 p.m.

College of Nursing and Health Professions: June 14, The Mann Center

  • Khiara Bridges, PhD, JD, associate professor of anthropology and associate professor of law at Boston University, will speak at the ceremony at 8:30 a.m.

Westphal College of Media Arts & Design: June 14, The Mann Center

  • Mike Reiss, TV and book writer and producer (The Simpsons) and four-time Emmy winner, will address graduates at the college’s ceremony at 1 p.m.

Dornsife School of Public Health: June 14, Daskalakis Athletic Center

  • Jasmine Ward, PhD, assistant professor of health studies at Texas Woman’s University and founder and CEO of BLIPH, will speak at the Dornsife School of Public Health’s ceremony at 1 p.m.

 

Honorary Degree Recipients

  • The Honorable Wendy Beetlestone

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Drexel University — Thomas R. Kline School of Law

May 15, 2019

  • David J. Shulkin

Doctor of Science, honoris causa

Drexel University — College of Medicine

May 17, 2019

Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa

Drexel University

June 14, 2019

  • Kenneth C. Frazier

Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa

Drexel University

June 14, 2019

Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Drexel University

June 14, 2019

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