Carnegie Mellon University
April 06, 2023

Announcing 2023 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

Dear Members of the CMU Community:

I am thrilled to announce our distinguished honorary degree recipients and speakers for Carnegie Mellon’s 125th Commencement, which will take place on Sunday, May 14, in Gesling Stadium.

Our keynote speaker will be Patrick Gelsinger, the Chief Executive Officer of Intel. With a career spanning over four decades in science and technology fields, Pat has demonstrated a preeminent level of distinction in leadership and innovation roles. He spent 30 years at Intel where he managed breakthroughs in key industry technologies like USB and Wi-Fi, and was the architect of critical microprocessing technologies that led Intel to become the world’s foremost microprocessor supplier. He then served as CEO of VMware, where he nearly tripled the company’s annual revenues and was ranked the top CEO in America by Glassdoor, before returning to Intel as CEO.

It has long been a Carnegie Mellon tradition to award honorary degrees at Commencement to exemplary leaders whose lives and work serve as an inspiration for our community. This year’s honorary degree recipients have profoundly impacted our world through their contributions in technology, the arts, defense and business. In addition to Pat, who will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science and Technology degree, our 2023 honorary degree recipients are:

Fred Eversley (ENG 1964) is a contemporary artist whose distinctive and prolific work has captivated generations of people. An engineer-turned-artist, Fred became a key figure in American mid-century art movements through his interdisciplinary creation process and abstract sculptures. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions around the country and his work is displayed in permanent collections in more than three dozen museums around the world, including the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums. Fred will receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Lieutenant General Gina Grosso (TPR 1986) is a retired U.S. Air Force officer who currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Human Resources and Administration/Operations, Security and Preparedness. A CMU and ROTC alumna, Lt. Gen. Grosso served for over three decades in the Air Force, where she managed complex human resources and administrative enterprises and became the first woman personnel chief in Air Force history, overseeing 680,000 military and civilian Airmen. Lt. Gen. Grosso will receive an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

Judith Light (CFA 1970), who received a bachelor’s degree from our world-renowned School of Drama, is an acclaimed actor and activist who has been recognized for her extensive work in theater, television and film with three Tony Awards and two Emmy Awards. She recently received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame and is perhaps best known for iconic roles in the television series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “Ugly Betty,” “Transparent” and “The Politician,” as well as on stage in Other Desert Cities and Assembled Parties. Light’s latest film was Searchlight’s dark comedy The Menu, alongside Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes. Outside of her work as an actor, Judith has been recognized for her passionate advocacy for HIV/AIDS and LGBTQIA+ causes. Judith will receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

David Shapira is the Director, Board of Directors, Giant Eagle, Inc., and Chairman, David S. Shapira Foundation. He is an influential business leader who transformed Giant Eagle from a local chain of 50 stores to an organization with over 450 locations, $11 billion in revenue and 35,000 employees. David is a past chair and current emeritus member of CMU’s Board of Trustees. He is a civic leader and philanthropist, contributing significantly to the Pittsburgh region’s economic and community revitalization efforts that fueled what is widely known as Pittsburgh’s Renaissance. David will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree.

This year’s student speaker will be Prithu Pareek, who is earning a bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering. Prithu has contributed widely to CMU through his undergraduate research and as an active member of the student body. He serves as president of the Undergraduate Student Senate, and as a member of numerous advocacy and advisory committees, including the University Leadership Student Advisory Council. Additionally, Sharon Lovell, who is earning an MFA in dramatic writing from the School of Drama, will present a reading during Commencement. Sharon has been involved with the Graduate Student Assembly and served as an instructor, teaching assistant and academic coach.

I am grateful to the Honorary Degree Review Committee, chaired by Rebecca Doerge, the Glen de Vries Dean of the Mellon College of Science, for its work in evaluating and recommending candidates and to all those who submitted nominations. I invite you to learn more about this year’s extraordinary lineup of speakers and honorary degree recipients.

I am looking forward to recognizing our distinguished honorary degree recipients, and of course, celebrating the achievements of our outstanding graduates!


Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair