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Guide to Northwestern Convocations

A variety of noted speakers will address the Class of 2014 throughout commencement weekend

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June 11, 2014 | by Brendan Cosgrove

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The celebration of Northwestern University’s Class of 2014 will be a three-day affair -- Thursday, June 19, through Saturday, June 21. While the University will hold its 156th annual commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 20, at Ryan Field in Evanston, Northwestern’s various colleges, schools and programs will hold individual events throughout the weekend.

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
11:30 a.m. June 21, Ryan Field

Alumnus Daniel Pink is the author of five best-selling books about work, business and behavioral science that have been translated into 34 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. He also has hosted a public television special about creativity -- and this fall will host a new series on National Geographic Television about human behavior. Earlier in his career, Pink worked in politics and government, including serving from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.

School of Communication
Communication Studies and Radio/TV/Film: 1:30 p.m. June 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
Communication Sciences and Disorders, Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies: 5 p.m. June 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Alumna Emily Gerson Saines will speak at both convocation events. Saines is the founder and president of Brookside Artist Management, one of the entertainment industry’s premier boutique management firms whose clients include Hayden Panettiere, Cynthia Nixon and the Culkin family. She previously worked as a vice president at the William Morris Agency, where she represented artists such as Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johanssen and Robert Downey, Jr.

School of Continuing Studies
BPhil, BPhilCom, BSGS, MALS, MCW, MFA, LIT, MSRC, CRRA, QARS and MSA: 1 p.m. June 20, Alice Millar Chapel

Alumnus Rodrigo Sierra is chief communications and marketing officer and senior vice president of the American Medical Association (AMA). There, he is leading a transformation of the 165-year-old organization to reclaim a leadership position in shaping the evolving health care system for the nation. The brand repositioning, media and public affairs expert is responsible at the AMA for public relations, enterprise marketing and communications, digital and social media, leadership positioning and brand strategy. 

MSIS, MMI, MSPA and MPPA: 4 p.m. June 20, Alice Millar Chapel

Alumnus Louis Kishkunas is senior project manager at the Noble Network of Charter Schools, the highest-performing charter school network in Chicago. In this capacity he partners with five campuses on numerous support projects. Before joining the Noble Network, he served for seven years in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer.

School of Education and Social Policy
4 p.m. Friday June 20, Cahn Auditorium

Alumnus Gary Kosman is the founder of America Learns, which began as a nonprofit organization for training volunteer tutors and now has a more general mission of helping nonprofits and government improve service delivery. Kosman founded America Learns in 2003 after serving as a tutor and mentor during his time at Northwestern.

McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
The Graduate School Master’s Degrees: 2 p.m. June 20, Ryan Family Auditorium, Technological Institute

J. Edward Colgate, the Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Senior Professor in Design, director of the Master of Science in Engineering Design and Innovation program, and professor of mechanical engineering at Northwestern.

Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony: 4:15 p.m. June 20, Ryan Family Auditorium, Technological Institute

Milan Mrksich is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, and Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern.

Undergraduate Convocation: 8:30 a.m. June 21, Welsh-Ryan Arena

Alumna Alicia Boler-Davis is senior vice president of global quality and global customer experience at General Motors.

Professional Master’s Degrees: 12 p.m. Ryan Family Auditorium, Technological Institute

Alumnus Iqbal Arshad is Senior Vice President of Engineering, Global Product Development at Motorola Mobility.

The Graduate School
Ph.D./M.F.A. Hooding Ceremony: 3 p.m. June 19, Cahn Auditorium

Dwight McBride is dean of The Graduate School at Northwestern.

Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
Undergraduate Convocation: 10 a.m. June 21, Cahn Auditorium
Graduate Convocation: 2 p.m. June 21, Cahn Auditorium

Alumnus and Board of Trustees member Christine Brennan will speak at both convocations. She is an award-winning sports columnist for USA Today, best-selling author and commentator for ABC News, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio. She has covered 16 consecutive summer and winter Olympic games, starting with the 1984 Los Angeles games.

Kellogg School of Management
Convocation: 5 p.m. June 20, Ryan Field

Alumnus Robert Eckert is chairman emeritus of the board of Mattel, Inc. A 35-year veteran of the toy and food industries, he served for more than a decade as chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel. Under his disciplined leadership, the toy industry giant delivered strongly against its long-term targets of sustaining growth, building operating margins and generating significant cash flow. Eckert also built a legacy of leadership and people development at Mattel, which Fortune magazine recognized consistently among its 100 Best Companies to Work For and 100 Best Corporate Citizens.

Bienen School of Music
Convocation: 9 a.m. June 21, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Pianist Jonathan Biss is widely regarded for his artistry, musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations, winning international recognition for his orchestral, recital and chamber music performances and for his award-winning recordings. He has appeared with the foremost orchestras of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He is a frequent performer at leading international music festivals and gives recitals in major music capitals, both at home and abroad.

While the majority of Northwestern’s commencement-related events are taking place June 19 through June 21 in Evanston, three schools have already held their convocations and commencements:

  • Northwestern University in Qatar graduated 30 students at the Doha Convention Center May 4, with documentary filmmaker Jehane Noujaim as keynote speaker.
  • Alumnus and veteran Supreme Court litigator Carter G. Phillips addressed the School of Law’s commencement on May 16 at the Chicago Theatre.
  • Students from the Feinberg School of Medicine graduated at Chicago’s Navy Pier May 22. Yale Medical School Dean and Northwestern alumnus Robert J. Alpern, M.D. gave the commencement address.
Topics: University News