The first mother in space and the creator of some of prime-time television’s most memorable shows are among the prominent figures who will speak at UCLA’s 2019 commencement ceremonies.
Between May 17 and June 16, roughly 60 ceremonies, celebrations and receptions will be held across the UCLA campus, including those recognizing various academic departments and celebrating the achievements of various student populations, including Army ROTC members, LGBTQ students and parenting students, among others.
UCLA expects to confer approximately 13,500 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees for the 2018–2019 school year, including 8,900 earned this spring.
The first graduation ceremony will be held for the UCLA School of Law on May 17 at Dickson Court North beginning at 3:30 p.m. (map). It will feature speaker Jessie Kornberg, UCLA Law alumna and president and CEO of the Los Angeles public interest law firm Bet Tzedek Legal Services, which provides free legal services to low-income people in Los Angeles. Each year, Bet Tzedek teams up with pro bono attorneys to serve more than 40,000 people in elder justice, immigrant advocacy, workers' rights, homelessness prevention, economic development and reparations for Holocaust survivors.
The busiest day for events will be June 14 when seven ceremonies will be held with an estimated 30,000 guests expected on campus that day.
The largest ceremonies are those for the UCLA College, which will be held at Pauley Pavilion on June 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (map). Astronaut and three-time UCLA alumna Dr. Anna Lee Fisher will deliver remarks at each event. Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1971 and an M.D. in 1976 before being chosen an astronaut in 1978. Fourteen months after giving birth to her first child, Fisher became the first mother in space. After her space flight, she returned to UCLA and completed an master’s in chemistry in 1987.
Television writer and producer Chuck Lorre will address graduates of the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering on June 15 at 12:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion (map). Among Lorre’s credits are “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Mike & Molly” and “Mom.” In 2019, Lorre received his first Golden Globe Award for his series “The Kominsky Method” and a Critics’ Choice Award for creative achievement. In addition, Lorre played a pivotal role in the creation and success of UCLA’s Big Bang Theory Scholarship, established in 2015 to support undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Other notable speakers include:
Dr. Lisa Sanders, an internist on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine who also teaches at Yale’s primary care internal medicine residency program, will speak at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Hippocratic Oath ceremony May 31 at 5 p.m. at Dickson Court North (map). Sanders also writes the biweekly “Diagnosis” column for The New York Times Magazine, which was the inspiration for the hit television series “House M.D.” She is currently working on a documentary series based on her column to be aired on Netflix in 2019.
Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, will speak June 14 at a graduation ceremony for the UCLA Anderson School of Management at 4 p.m. in Wilson Plaza (map) and then at a ceremony for the Fielding School of Public Health at Royce Hall (map) at 5:30 p.m. Tyson’s career at Kaiser Permanente has spanned more than 34 years. He has been named as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine, who also included him on its list of Health Care 5O. In addition to being named by Modern Healthcare as one of the most influential people in health care for five consecutive years, Tyson has been No. 2 on the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list and on Fast Company’s list of most creative people.
Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, professor emerita of ethnomusicology who graduated from UCLA with both a master’s and doctorate in ethnomusicology, will speak at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s commencement ceremony on June 14. The event will be held at Dickson Court North at 4 p.m. (map). DjeDje, who retired in June 2013 after 34 years of teaching and research, began her professional career at UCLA as a scholar and faculty member in the music department and then joined the ethnomusicology department, where she served as chair as well as director of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive.
Fellow Bruin alumna Kathleen Dracup, an educator, researcher and clinician with nearly 50 years of experience in cardiovascular nursing, will address School of Nursing graduates at Royce Hall at 8:30 a.m. on June 15 (map). Dracup, who graduated in 1974 with a graduate degree in nursing, recognized nationally and internationally for her investigation in the care of patients with heart disease and the effects of this disease on spouses and other family members. In 2014, Dracup was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing.
For information about the ceremonies, including updates and details for specific schools and programs, visit UCLA Commencement.
Other ceremonies include:
Sunday, June 2
Judith Albino, president emerita of the University of Colorado and professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, will deliver remarks to graduates of the School of Dentistry on June 2 at 10 a.m. in Royce Hall (map).
Thursday, June 13
Friday, June 14
Saturday, June 15
Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, will deliver remarks to school’s in Wilson Plaza at 4 p.m. (map).