Google Chairman, CEO Eric Schmidt To Give Keynote
Address at Carnegie Mellon Commencement, May 17
Honorary Degree Recipients Include Detre, Lockhart, Rashad and Shapiro
PITTSBURGH—Eric Schmidt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Google Inc., will speak at Carnegie Mellon University's 112th commencement ceremony at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 17 in Gesling Stadium on the university campus, where some 3,400 undergraduate and graduate degrees will be conferred.
"We are honored to host a distinguished and star-studded group of honorary degree recipients this year, including our commencement speaker, Eric Schmidt. Eric is a world-renowned Internet strategist, entrepreneur and visionary with strong ties to Carnegie Mellon. His lifelong pursuit of excellence and his understanding of the dynamic nature of this university make him an ideal commencement speaker for us," said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon.
Since joining Google in 2001, Schmidt has shared responsibility for the company's day-to-day operations with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. He also has focused his attention on building the corporate infrastructure needed to maintain Google's rapid growth and on ensuring that quality remains high while product development cycle times are kept to a minimum.
Prior to joining Google, Schmidt was chairman and CEO of Novell, where he led the strategic planning, management and technology development for the global software corporation. Before leading Novell, he was chief technology officer and corporate executive officer at Sun Microsystems Inc., where he led the development of Java, Sun's platform-independent programming technology, and defined Sun's Internet software strategy. Before joining Sun in 1983, he held positions at Bell Laboratories and Zilog, and was a member of the research staff at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox, Palo Alto Research Center.
In 2006, Schmidt was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for "the development of strategies for the world's most successful Internet search engine company." He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007.
Schmidt has served as a member of Carnegie Mellon's Board of Trustees and its School of Computer Science's Dean's Advisory Board. He is chairman of the board of directors for the New America Foundation.
Schmidt, who will also be awarded an honorary doctorate in science and technology from Carnegie Mellon, will share the commencement platform with four other honorary degree recipients. They are:
Thomas Detre, M.D., Doctor of Humane Letters
Detre has served for 30 years at the University of Pittsburgh and was instrumental in the creation of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a world-renowned medical center and research institution. He is the Emeritus Distinguished Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences and Emeritus Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He has held a variety of academic and administrative appointments, including UPMC president and dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and School of Public Health. Internationally renowned in the field of psychiatry, Detre is an emeritus fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a fellow in the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine. He has published numerous articles and chapters on recurrent depression, violence and aggression in children, and other biological aspects of mental disorders and health policy issues. Detre has received many honors and distinctions, including his appointment as chairman of the National Library of Medicine.
Keith Lockhart (MFA'83), Doctor of Fine Arts
As conductor of the Boston Pops, music director of the Utah Symphony, and artistic director and principal conductor of the summer institute and festival at the Brevard Music Center, Lockhart is a major force in the music world. He has conducted symphony orchestras in more than 20 cities worldwide and led the Utah Symphony during opening ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. During his tenure, he has made more than 70 television shows, including three "Salute to the Symphony" specials, one of which won an Emmy Award, and 38 programs for PBS's "Evening at Pops." In 2004, Lockhart and the Boston Pops appeared live with Sir Elton John on the pre-game show for Super Bowl XXXVI. During the 2008 season, he celebrated his 14th season as conductor of the Boston Pops, where he has led 31 national and four overseas tours. He has received numerous awards, including the Bob Hope Patriot Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. This past January, Lockhart, who earned a master's degree in fine arts at Carnegie Mellon in 1983, conducted the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic during a program in New York City's Carnegie Hall.
Phylicia Rashad, Doctor of Fine Arts
Rashad has earned many awards for her acting roles on stage, in films and on television. Her Broadway credits include "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Gem of the Ocean," "Blue," "Jelly's Last Jam," "Dreamgirls" and "A Raisin in the Sun," for which she earned a Tony Award for Best Actress in 2004. While her Broadway and off-Broadway credits are many, she is perhaps best known for her television roles as Claire Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," and as Ruth Lucas on "Cosby." Rashad received the NAACP Image Award for "Best Actress in a Comedy Series" for both roles and also received two Emmy Award and People's Choice Award nominations. She earned a 2009 NAACP Image Award for her television performance in "A Raisin in the Sun." Rashad's film credits include "Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored," "Free of Eden," "Loving Jezebel" and "The Visit." She recently made her directorial debut at the helm of The Seattle Repertory Theatre's production of Pittsburgh-native August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean." Rashad is an active participant in charitable and nonprofit organizations and is dedicated to the importance of the fine arts in education.
Harold Shapiro, Doctor of Public Policy
A former president of Princeton University and the University of Michigan, Shapiro is currently a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton, a trustee of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, chairman of the board at DeVry Inc., and a key member of many national public policy committees and boards. He is a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, Johnson & Johnson's Advisory Committee on Stem Cell Initiatives, the National Academy of Sciences' Policy and Global Affairs Committee, and the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on America's Energy Future. He is also a member of the National Institute of Health's Council of Councils and the National Research Council's Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee. Shapiro is a former chair of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and served as a member and vice chair of President George W. Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Pictured at top is Eric Schmidt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Google Inc.