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Robert Reich, Rep. Capps, CEOs and more to speak at UCLA graduation ceremonies

Graduating students and guests will attend more than 50 commencement-related events from May 15 through June 14

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2015 commencement speakers
UCLA

Robert Reich, U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, UCLA professor Jared Diamond and Rachel Whetstone are four of the speakers at upcoming UCLA commencement ceremonies.

Political economist Robert Reich, Uber senior executive Rachel Whetstone, Target CEO Brian Cornell and U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) are among the prominent figures who will speak at UCLA’s 2015 graduation ceremonies, which run May 15 through June 14.

The university is expected to confer more than 7,000 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees during the ceremonies, which will be held at venues across the Westwood campus.

At the doctoral hooding ceremony on June 11, the UCLA Medal — the campus’s highest honor — will be presented to Shirley Malcom, the head of education for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The medal is presented to those of exceptionally distinguished academic and professional achievement whose work embodies the campus’s highest ideals.

In all, graduating students and guests will attend more than 50 commencement ceremonies, receptions and celebrations, including the Phi Beta Kappa initiation, a Lavender Graduation celebration for LGBT students and their families and a ceremony for students who are parents.

UCLA’s largest commencement is for the UCLA College, which takes place during two ceremonies at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, June 12, at Pauley Pavilion. More than 4,100 graduates are expected to attend. Nathan Myhrvold, who retired as chief strategist of Microsoft to found the now $6-billion company Intellectual Ventures, will deliver the keynote address to graduating seniors, their families and friends.

At UCLA, Myhrvold earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s in geophysics and space physics, both in 1979, at the age of 20. He earned his doctorate at Princeton and did postdoctoral research in the lab of famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking at University of Cambridge before joining Microsoft and founding Microsoft Research.

Other speakers of note include Reich, a political economist at UC Berkeley who served in three U.S. presidential administrations — most recently as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration — who will speak at the Fielding School of Public Health ceremony on June 12. The same day, Whetstone, former senior vice president of communications and public policy at Google, will speak at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Cornell, CEO and board chairman of Target, will speak at the Anderson School of Management. Capps, a registered nurse and co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, will speak at the School of Nursing ceremony on June 13.

For information about the ceremonies, including updates and details for specific schools and programs, visit UCLA Commencement. In order of appearance, UCLA’s main commencement ceremonies and speakers are:

Friday, May 15

Alumna Martine Rothblatt ’81, founder and CEO of the biotech company United Therapeutics Corporation and Sirius XM, will speak at the School of Law ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in Dickson Court North (map). 

Sunday, May 31

Dr. R. Bruce Donoff, dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, will speak at the School of Dentistry ceremony at 10 a.m. in Royce Hall (map).

Friday, June 5

Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and UCLA geography professor, will speak at the UCLA School of Medicine Hippocratic Oath ceremony at 5 p.m. in Dickson Court North (map). 

Thursday, June 11

Robin Garrell, dean of the Graduate Division, will speak at the division’s Doctoral Hooding ceremony at 3 p.m. in Royce Hall (map).

Friday, June 12

Rachel Whetstone, senior vice president of policy and communications for Uber, will speak at the Luskin School of Public Affairs ceremony at 9 a.m. in Royce Hall (map).

Nathan Myhrvold, who retired as chief strategist of Microsoft to found the now $6-billion company Intellectual Ventures, will speak at the UCLA College ceremonies at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion (map).

Kevin Beggs, the chairman of Lionsgate Television, will speak at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television ceremony at 2 p.m. in Royce Hall (map).

Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, will speak at the Anderson School of Management ceremony at 4 p.m. in Wilson Plaza (map).

Robert Reich, a political economist at UC Berkeley who served in three U.S. presidential administrations, will speak at the Fielding School of Public Health ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in Royce Hall (map).

Saturday, June 13

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), a registered nurse and co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, will speak at the School of Nursing ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in Royce Hall (map).

C.D. Mote, Jr., president of the National Academy of Engineering, will speak at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at 12:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion (map).

Alumnus Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision, will speak at the School of the Arts and Architecture ceremony at 4 p.m. in Dickson Court North (map). 

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and an international authority on mass migration, globalization and education, will speak at the school’s ceremony at 4 p.m. in Wilson Plaza (map).

More UCLA Newsroom commencement news and photos.

Updated May 28, 2015

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