Commencement weekend to feature array of events

Ceremony to be held in Gosman Center, also will be streamed

Photos/Mike Lovett

Capping a weekend of celebrations, Brandeis University will hold its 61st commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 20, at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Brandeis will award 834 undergraduate degrees, as well as 883 graduate degrees and certificates, according to the Office of the Registrar.

Deborah Bial ’87, founder and president of the Posse Foundation – which identifies talented public high school students who might otherwise be passed over by the traditional college-admissions process and sends them in multicultural teams to selective colleges – is the commencement speaker.

Honorary degrees will be bestowed upon Bial; Sydney Brenner, a pioneering molecular biologist and geneticist; Joseph Polisi, president of The Juilliard School; Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning economist and philosopher, and, posthumously, to prominent philanthropist Myra Kraft ’64, who managed the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation and served as president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.

Commencement weekend begins with a baccalaureate service at 4 p.m. Friday at  Chapel’s Pond, followed by a President’s Reception for seniors and their families in the Shapiro Campus Center atrium from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the main stage of Spingold Theater. It will be followed by a reception at 3 p.m. for all new Phi Beta Kappa members, their families and friends.

The main ceremony, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, will be live-streamed. Individual schools and departments will also hold ceremonies throughout the day. Check the Commencement 2012 site for times, locations and other weekend details.

Sen, who is best known for his contributions to the theory of social justice and the field of welfare economics, will speak at the Heller School’s 8 a.m. ceremony, which will also be held in Spingold Theater. Polisi, an accomplished bassoonist who has been at the helm of Juilliard since 1984, will speak at the School of Creative Arts ceremony at 4 p.m. in Spingold.

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