Carnegie Mellon University
May 14, 2015

118th Commencement


Carnegie Mellon University will confer more than 3,000 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Sunday, May 17 at its main commencement ceremony in Gesling Stadium.

That figure includes the largest graduating class from the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar campus: One hundred and four graduates representing 19 countries.

Brooke Kuei, who is graduating with university and college honors with a bachelor's degree in physics and a minor in professional writing, will deliver the student address at the ceremony.

She said she hopes her speech reassures classmates that they can spend their lives growing, learning and exploring — even as their time as at Carnegie Mellon comes to a close.

"I also want to remind everyone of how far we've come since we first got here — it sure hasn't been easy," she said. "But what we learned in these past couple of years has definitely prepared us for success in the future. "

An active member of the CMU community, she was a teaching assistant for physics classes, a mentor for the physics outreach program, a founding member of CMU's women's varsity golf team, Science and Technology editor of the student newspaper, and managing editor of the Dossier Literary and Arts Magazine.

At Carnegie Mellon, she discovered her passion for communicating science.

"Scientific advancements require a collaborative effort, and this collaboration is not possible without effective science communication," she said. "Science communication is necessary in order to make new discoveries and, perhaps even more importantly, to use these discoveries to change the world."

She will attend Penn State University this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering and to advance her research in energy science.

Alan Alda, an acclaimed actor, writer and director, also has a passion for sharing science and technology. Alda will be the keynote speaker at commencement. He also will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree for exemplifying CMU's interdisciplinary strengths in the arts and sciences.

A seven-time Emmy Award winner, Alda 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."

As a science enthusiast, Alda hosted "Scientific American Frontiers" on PBS for 11 years, interviewing leading scientists from around the world. He 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 and included an interview with CMU's renowned neuroscientist Marcel Just.

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 received the 2013 Scientific American Lifetime Achievement Award and was recently elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in recognition of his work in advancing the communication of science.

Honorary Degree Recipients:
It is a Carnegie Mellon tradition to award honorary degrees at commencement to exemplary leaders, whose life and work serve as an inspiration for Carnegie Mellon students, faculty and staff. In addition to Alda, this year's honorary degree recipients are:

Joyce Kozloff (A'64), a major American visual artist whose work fuses pattern and movement with social engagement, will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Kai-Fu Lee (CS'88), a prominent computer scientist, venture capitalist, corporate leader, writer and former CMU faculty member, will receive a Doctor of Business Practice degree.

Stephen Schwartz (A'68), one of the most successful songwriters in the history of musical theater with three Academy awards, four Grammy awards and four Drama Desk awards, will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Carl Wieman, who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics, will be awarded a Doctor of Science and Technology degree.

Event Information
Guests attending the ceremony will be asked to be seated at 10 a.m. Graduates will begin processing to their seats at 10:15 a.m. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m., rain or shine.

For guests who wish to view the event indoors, the ceremony will be simulcast in McConomy Auditorium, first floor, Jared L. Cohon University Center.

Those unable to be on campus for the ceremony can watch via webcast.

Graduates and their families are encouraged to share photos and posts on social media and to tag them with #CMUgrad. Follow @CMUcommencement on Twitter for the most up-to-date commencement news.

Posts will appear on the webcast page and some will be featured on the screens at the stadium.