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Commencement celebrates scholarship, achievement

Commencement 2014 schedule

Friday, May 16
School of Nursing, 1 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 p.m. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Saturday, May 17
Doctoral Degrees, 9:30 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
School of Medicine and Dentistry Master’s Degrees, 12:15 p.m., Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School.
Warner School, 2:30 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Sunday, May 18
Arts, Sciences & Engineering 9 a.m., Eastman Quadrangle, River Campus
Eastman School 11:15 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Sunday, June 8
Simon School, 10 a.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

The University will recognize the achievements of about 3,000 graduates who have earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across all schools. Commencement ceremonies will also recognize the outstanding contributions of distinguished leaders and scholars who will receive honorary degrees, medals for exemplary service, and awards for scholarship and teaching.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s nightly talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, will deliver the 164th Arts, Sciences & Engineering commencement address on Sunday, May 18. During the 9 a.m. ceremony on the Eastman Quadrangle, Matthews will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. 

Samuel Hope ’67E, formerly executive director of the National Association of Schools of Music, is the speaker at the Eastman School’s commencement, which begins at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, May 18, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Other honorees include Barry Meyer ’64, longtime Warner Bros. Entertainment executive and founder and chairman of North Ten Mile Associates, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.

For nearly 14 years, he served as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros., leading one of the most successful collections of entertainment brands and companies in the world. A life trustee of the University, in 2004 Meyer delivered the Arts, Sciences & Engineering commencement address and received the Hutchison Medal, the highest award presented to alumni for their career achievements and service.

Harriet Kitzman ’61W (MS), ’84N (PhD), a nurse and internationally recognized scientist who has demonstrated the value of early and sustained home-based nursing intervention for high-risk mothers and their children, will receive the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, which recognizes alumni for outstanding achievement and notable service.

Kitzman is professor of nursing and pediatrics at Rochester and serves as senior associate dean for research, as well as director of the Center for Research Implementation and Translation. She has held the Loretta C. Ford Professorship during her 45 years on the faculty.

Hutchison Medal recipient Robert Rich Jr. ’69S (MBA), chairman of Rich Products Corporation, will be the keynote speaker during the Simon Business School commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 8.

As chairman of Rich Products Corporation, he led the company to more than $3 billion in worldwide sales revenue, earning the distinction as a dynamic business leader. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards for his business, community, and professional sports endeavors.

Yuh-geng Tsay ’77 (PhD), retired senior vice president of Thermo Fisher Scientific, will be awarded the Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award.
Tsay is considered one of the nation’s foremost organic/bioanalytical chemists. He has helped refine clinicians’ understanding of the value and applicability of immunoassays.

Over the past five decades, Tsay has helped influence diagnostic medicine, introducing new analytical methods and improving existing clinical tests that pinpoint the presence of small molecules, such as drugs like cocaine, and macromolecules such as viruses, bacteria, and allergens. Thanks to Tsay’s work as a chemist and entrepreneur, physicians can more accurately diagnose patients, and hospitals can better ensure the safety of those they treat.

Several teaching awards will also be presented during commencement ceremonies. Visit for details and updates.

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