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Who’s Giving Rhode Island Grads Advice This Year?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

 

Commencement season 2014 is underway, and that means for soon-to-be college graduates, hearing from notable graduation speakers on the big diploma day. 

GoLocal has who's giving the big talks -- and who the colleges are giving out honorary degrees to as well.

Who's Speaking in Rhode Island?

Notable speakers this year include Dr. Temple Grandin, who will will speak at Providence College, Richard Saul Wurman at Salve Regina, and Richard Blanco at URI.

Below is list of commencement speakers and notable honorary degree getters at colleges and universities in the state this graduation season. 

 

Related Slideshow: Who’s Giving The Grads Advice This Year?

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 Brown University

Sunday, May 25

Commencement speakers:

  • Caroline Bologna ’14, Brown tour guide and managing editor for post-Magazine
  • Josh Block ’14, Brown tour guide and managing editor for post-Magazine

Honorary degrees:

  • Beatrice E. Coleman ’25, schoolteacher, church musician, and former secretary of the NAACP’s New England Regional Conference (awarded posthumously);
  • Jeffrey Eugenides ’82, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and author;
  • Arthur Horwich ’72, M.D.’75, physician, geneticist, and cellular biochemist;
  • Mary Lou Jepsen ’87, Ph.D. ’97, electrical engineer and innovator of computer-driven graphic displays;
  • Debra L. Lee ’76, chairman and CEO of BET Networks;
  • Lois Lowry ’58, award-winning children’s author;
  • Nalini Nadkarni ’76, forest ecologist and science communicator; and
  • Thomas Perez ’83, civil rights attorney and U.S. secretary of labor.

 

 

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Bryant University

Saturday, May 17

Commencement speaker: Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee

Honorary degrees:

  • Richard W. Fisher will address graduating seniors and guests at Bryant's undergraduate exercises on May 17;
  • Robert A. DiMuccio, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Amica Mutual Insurance Company. DiMuccio will speak at the Graduate School of Business and Graduate Programs in Arts and Sciences ceremony on May 15;
  • Joyce M. Roché, president and CEO of the 150-year-old nonprofit organization Girls Inc.;
  • Scott C. Donnelly, the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Textron Inc.
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Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the nation’s principal monetary policy making group. Fisher will address graduating seniors and guests at Bryant's undergraduate exercises on May 17;
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Johnson & Wales University

Saturday, May 24

Commencement speaker: Robert J. Palleschi, Global Head, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide

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New England Institute of Technology

Sunday, May 4

Commencement speaker: Kathy Ireland, former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model

Honorary degrees: Cheryl Merchant, president and chief executive officer of Rhode Island’s Hope Global

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Providence College

Sunday, May 18

Commencement speaker: Dr. Temple Grandin, autism awareness advocate, leading innovator in the livestock industry, bestselling author and engineer

Honorary degrees:

  • Dr. Temple Grandin
  • The Honorable Francis J. Darigan, Jr. ’64, retired justice from the Superior Court of Rhode Island
  • Raymond M. Murphy, entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Sister Margaret Ormond, O.P., prioress of the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Peace
  • Carolyn Rafaelian, acting CEO of Alex and Ani
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Rhode Island College

Saturday, May 17

Commencement speaker: Valerie Tutson, founder and director of both Rhode Island Black Storytellers and FUNDA Fest: A Celebration of Black Storytelling

Honorary degrees:

  • Valerie Tutson
  • Oscar Herbert, CEO of the Warwick-based Atrion
  • Peter Arpin, partner in Arpin International Group and president of Arpin Renewable Energy and Arpin Broadcast Network.
  • Centenarian Irene Kenny, RIC Class of 1935
  • Dr. Charles MacDonald, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Brown University
  • John Hazen White Jr., CEO and president of Taco Inc.
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RISD

Saturday, May 31

Commencement speaker: Bruce Mau, innovator, designer, author, and co-founder of Massive Change Network

Honorary degrees:

  • Bruce Mau
  • Todd Oldham, author and founder of Todd Oldham Studio
  • Jean Kennedy Smith, former US Ambassador to Ireland
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Roger Williams University

Saturday, May 17 

Commencement speaker: Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Rhode Island

Honorary degrees:

  • Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Rhode Island
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian
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Salve Regina University

Sunday, May 18

Commencement speaker: Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED conference

Honorary degrees: Richard Saul Wurman

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University of Rhode Island

Saturday, May 17:

Commencement speaker: Richard Blanco, inaugural poet for President Obama’s second inauguration

Honorary degrees:

  • Richard Blanco, U.S. Inaugural Poet who will speak at commencement will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters
  • LTG Michael T. Flynn, director of Intelligence, United States Defense Intelligence Agency, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Bernard LaFayette Jr., Civil Rights leader, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Anne Nolan, president and chief executive officer of Crossroads Rhode Island, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
 
 

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