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May 16: Bill Cosby To Deliver Keynote Address at Commencement, Sunday, May 20


Teresa Thomas
412-268-2900 (office)
412-268-0516 (cell)

Media Advisory: Bill Cosby To Deliver Keynote Address
At Carnegie Mellon Commencement, Sunday, May 20

EVENT: Bill Cosby, an award-winning comedian, actor, author and recording artist well known for his commitment to education, will deliver the keynote address at Carnegie Mellon University's 110th commencement ceremony. Cosby has won numerouBill Cosbys awards and honors for his work, including several Emmy and Grammy awards, the Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.    

Cosby will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Carnegie Mellon. Five other honorary degree recipients will join him on the commencement stage, including:

  • Helen S. Faison, director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, will receive a doctor of humane letters. Faison was a visiting professor and chair of the Education Department at Chatham University, and was an interim superintendent for the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
  • Wilton A. Hawkins (E'48), who helped develop and patent a variety of products and processes for the aerospace, chemical, electronics and semiconductor industries, will receive a doctor of science and technology. Founder of Chemplast, Hawkins retired in 1999 as vice president of Norton Performance Plastics Division. He is an emeritus life trustee of Carnegie Mellon.
  • Paolo Lugari, a civil and environmental engineer who founded the Gaviotas community in Colombia, South America, will receive a doctor of science and technology. Lugari has developed Gaviotas into a model village for social, economic and environmental sustainability through the use of several technologies, including hydroponic greenhouses that recycle waste from rice farms, biogas electricity generators and solar energy collectors.
  • Gerald C. Meyers (E'50, TPR'54), a former executive with American Motors, the Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Corporation, is president of his own business consulting firm and a professor of management and organization at the University of Michigan Ross Business School. An expert in corporate governance and crisis management, Meyers will receive a doctor of business practice.
  • Earl Wild (A'37), one of the greatest classical pianists of all time, will receive a doctor of fine arts. At age six it was discovered that he had absolute pitch, and by age 14 he was the resident pianist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. At 21 he became the staff pianist for NBC in New York City. Wild has enjoyed a stellar career and served on the Carnegie Mellon faculty from 1992 to 2006 as a visiting artist-in-residence. In 2005, Wild performed at venues around the world to celebrate his 90th birthday.    

More than 2,100 undergraduate and graduate degrees will be conferred at this year's commencement. The ceremony will be broadcast live at

WHEN: 11 a.m., Sunday, May 20 (rain or shine).

WHERE: Gesling Stadium, Carnegie Mellon campus.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Media planning to attend Sunday's ceremony should contact Teresa Thomas at 412-260-0516 for instructions on seating or photography.

[Photo by Erinn]