UB's 161st General Commencement Ceremony Set for May 13

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: May 3, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Some 5,500 students are candidates to receive degrees during the University at Buffalo's general commencement and 13 other commencement ceremonies to be held May 4, May 10-13 and May 19.

UB President John B. Simpson will speak at the 161st general commencement ceremony, to be held at 10 a.m. May 13 in Alumni Arena on the North (Amherst) Campus. Also speaking will be graduating senior Michael A. Kirby.

Warren Bennis, a former UB administrator and internationally renowned expert in leadership, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the State University of New York during the ceremony.

Stephen C. Dunnett, Ph.D., UB vice provost for international education, will receive the UB President's Medal in recognition of extraordinary service to UB.

Simpson and Satish K. Tripathi, UB provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees.

Thirty-seven students will be recognized during the general commencement.

To receive the SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence are Rahul Chopra, Michael Colby, Karen H. Corey, Fara E. Ditkowsky, Josh Hancock, Mohammad Hussain, Craig E. Keller, Zachary Lochner, Sarah Meunier, Ola Mscichowski, Robert Richards, Peter Rizzo, Balbir K. Singh and Ann Zykina.

Balbir K. Singh also will receive the Division of Student Affairs Senior Leadership Award.

Twenty-eight graduates will receive the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Outstanding Senior Awards. They are Damien-Adia Norris Mickunas, African American Studies; Shahar Azoulay, American Studies; Christina Marie Matteliano, Anthropology; Craig E. Keller, Biological Sciences; Brian A. Danielak, Chemistry; William Edward Seychew, Classics; David B. Spira, Communication; Fara E. Ditkowsky, Communicative Disorders and Sciences; Na Liu, Economics; Brian A. Danielak, English; William J. Trask Jr., Geography; Jeffrey R. Ferris, Geological Sciences; Justin D. Martin, History; Ann Marie Olivo, Linguistics; Siu Fai Chow, Mathematics; Aimee M. Buyea, Media Study; Veronica Scotto, Music; Sara M. Barry, Philosophy; Jacob H. Miner, Physics; Katherine E. Zuk, Political Science; Brianna L. Harris, Psychology; Amanda M. Karl, Romance Languages and Literatures; Karen H. Corey, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Program; Meghan Mahon, Sociology; Balbir K. Singh, Special Major; Stephen D. Stocking, Theatre and Dance; Nathan Sutton, Visual Studies; and Ally M. Shuster, Women's Studies.

Vocalist at the general commencement will be Christopher B. Critelli.

The President's Medal, first presented in 1990, recognizes "outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the University at Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community."

As vice provost for international education, Dunnett is the chief university officer responsible for all international programs and activities at UB. He was the central force behind the historic three-day visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to UB in September, and his efforts have resulted in more than 4,000 international students from more than 100 countries being enrolled in the university. UB is 10th among 2,700 accredited U.S. universities in international enrollment and first in terms of the percentage of total enrollment that is international among major public research universities.

Dunnett, who also is professor of foreign language education in the Graduate School of Education, as well as director of UB's internationally renowned English Language Institute, is active in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Association of International Educators and Administrators (AIEA) and the European Association of International Educators. He has served two terms on NAFSA's board of directors and one term on AIEA's executive committee. He currently is president of AIEA and chair of World Education Services' board of trustees.

Bennis, who the Financial Times called "the professor who established leadership as a respectable academic field," is on the faculty of the University of Southern California, where he serves as University Professor, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and founding chairman of the Leadership Institute. He also is chair of the advisory board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School. He is visiting professor of leadership at the University of Exeter (U.K.) and a senior fellow at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research.

He began his career in academic leadership at UB, serving as provost and executive vice president from 1967-71. He also has been on the faculty at Harvard, Boston University and the University of Cincinnati, and has served as chair of the Department of Organizational Studies at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Bennis is the author or editor of more than two dozen books, including the best-selling "Leaders," named recently by the Financial Times as one of the top-50 business books of all time, and "On Becoming a Leader," both of which have been translated into 21 languages. His 1993 essay collection, "An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change," was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

The Wall Street Journal named him as one of the top-10 speakers on management in 1993, and in 1996, Forbes magazine referred to him as the "dean of leadership gurus."

In addition to the general commencement ceremony, UB will hold 13 other commencement ceremonies:

• School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2 p.m., May 4, Center for the Arts, North Campus. Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, will speak. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Biomedical sciences, 6 p.m., May 10, Center for the Arts. This ceremony recognizes graduate and undergraduate students in the biomedical sciences, including special studies majors. The speaker will be Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in the departments of Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Graduate School of Education, 9 a.m., May 11, Center for the Arts. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Graduate School, 1 p.m., May 11, Center for the Arts. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Social Work, 9 a.m., May 12, Center for the Arts. Nancy M. Benjamin, a social worker and spinal cord injury coordinator at the Buffalo VA Medical Center, will speak. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, noon, May 12, Alumni Arena, North Campus. Tripathi will confer degrees.

• School of Public Health and Health Professions, 1 p.m., May 12, Center for the Arts. Ann F. Monroe, president of the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, will speak. David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for health sciences, will confer degrees.

• School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1 p.m., May 12, Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Hall, North Campus. Assemblyman Daniel J. Burling, B.S. '80, will speak. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Architecture and Planning, 4 p.m., May 12, Hayes Hall lawn, South (Main Street) Campus. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Management, 5 p.m., May 12, Alumni Arena. Tripathi will confer degrees.

• School of Dental Medicine, 5 p.m., May 12, Center for the Arts. Dominick P. DePaola, D.D.S., Ph.D., president and CEO, Forsyth Institute, will speak. Dunn will confer degrees.

• School of Nursing, 2 p.m., May 13, Center for the Arts. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Law School, 3 p.m., May 19, Center for the Arts. The Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr., J.D. '73, associate justice, New York State Court of Appeals, will speak. Tripathi will confer degrees.