Keynote Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipient-Commencement Weekend - Carnegie Mellon University

Keynote Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipient

alan-aldaAlan Alda

Actor, Writer and Director

Doctor of Fine Arts

Alan Alda is an acclaimed actor, writer and director. A seven-time Emmy Award winner (with 33 Emmy nominations), he is best known for his starring roles as Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series "M*A*S*H" and as Arnold Vinick in "The West Wing."

He was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in the 2004 film "The Aviator." He has starred in many other films, including "Same Time Next Year," "California Suite," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," which he wrote. He also starred in, wrote and directed "The Four Seasons," "Sweet Liberty," "A New Life" and "Betsy's Wedding." Alda has the distinction of being nominated for an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy, and publishing a bestselling book, all in the same year (2005).

Alda has a deep fascination for science, and has shared his passion for scientific topics with millions of others. He hosted the program "Scientific American Frontiers" on PBS for 11 years, interviewing leading scientists from around the world. He also has worked on award-winning PBS programs "The Human Spark," which explored what makes us human, and "Brains on Trial," which focused on the implication of contemporary brain science for the U.S. justice system.

He helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where he is a visiting professor, and since 2008 he has worked with physicist Brian Greene on presenting the annual World Science Festival in New York City. He was recently elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, in recognition of his work in advancing the communication of science.

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Student Speaker

kueiBrooke Kuei (S'15)

Brooke Kuei is graduating with University and College Honors with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a minor in professional writing.

As an undergraduate, Kuei was an active member of the Carnegie Mellon community as a teaching assistant for physics classes, a mentor for the physics outreach program, a founding member of Carnegie Mellon's first women's varsity golf team and as a student employee in the Office of Computing Services. She satisfied her love for physics and writing as the Science and Technology editor of The Tartan, the student newspaper, and managing editor of the Dossier Literary and Arts Magazine.

Kuei's special interest in energy science led her to conduct research on large-scale energy storage at CMU, on lithium-ion batteries at Cornell University and on new materials for solar cells at Penn State. She will be attending Penn State University in the fall to pursue a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering to advance her energy research interests.

Outside of the classroom, Kuei says she is a "compulsive people-watcher, wanna-be author and amateur photographer who loves writing, cafes, playing the ukulele, nice people, love stories and anything that’s fuzzy and moves."

She thanks her family, friends and mentors for their love and support, and wishes the Class of 2015 all the best for the future!

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Honorary Degree Recipients

Joyce Kozloff (A'64)

Kai-Fu Lee (CS'88 and Past Faculty)

Stephen Schwartz (A'68)

Carl E. Wieman