Universitywide commencement set for May 23

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, a renowned Johns Hopkins neuroscientist and neurosurgeon, will be the featured speaker at this year's Commencement ceremony for graduates from all divisions and campuses of the Johns Hopkins University.

The event, which begins at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, on Homewood Field, will feature remarks from President Ronald J. Daniels, a speech by Quiñones-Hinojosa, the conferring of more than nearly 7,500 degrees, and the bestowing of honorary degrees.

Following the ceremony, the newly minted alumni and their families will be invited to a reception on the Keyser Quadrangle.

This year's honorary degree recipients are Eddie Brown, chairman, chief executive officer, and founder of Brown Capital Management in Glen Arm, Md., and his wife, C. Sylvia Brown, community philanthropist and higher education leader; Vernon Mountcastle, a professor emeritus of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins; and Nelson Sewankambo, an internationally recognized researcher and educator from Kampala, Uganda.

Quiñones-Hinojosa—whose path to becoming a physician started in a cotton field—is known for his cutting-edge cancer research and his comforting manner with patients, as well as his role in the Peabody Award–winning ABC News documentary series Hopkins, which followed several doctors and nurses as they treated patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He came to the United States in 1987 from Mexico at the age of 19, penniless and unable to speak English but driven to have a better life than he would have had in Mexico. He took jobs picking cotton, painting, and welding to pay for his tuition at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton, Calif., where he studied English and tutored other Spanish speakers in math and science. Transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, he earned his bachelor's degree in psychology with high honors in 1994. Five years later, he earned his medical degree with honors from Harvard Medical School.

Quiñones-Hinojosa then attended the University of California, San Francisco, to train in both general surgery and neurosurgery, and to conduct clinical research in epidemiology and biostatistics. He also earned a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to study developmental and stem cell biology. In 2005, he came to Johns Hopkins, where he became a faculty member and surgeon specializing in brain cancer and pituitary tumors. His titles include professor of neurological surgery, oncology, neuroscience, and cellular and molecular medicine; director of the Brain Tumor Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; and director of the Pituitary Surgery Program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Noteworthy speakers at other events related to Commencement include folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger, who will speak to graduates of the Peabody Institute; CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who will speak to graduates of SAIS; and Northrop Grumman CEO and president Wesley G. Bush, who will speak to graduates of the Carey Business School.

The individual events at which the nine academic divisions will recognize their graduates are as follows, listed by date:

Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tuesday, May 21, 9 a.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Cathedral and Preston streets. Speaker: Nelson Sewankambo, a Ugandan doctor and medical researcher.

Carey Business School: Tuesday, May 21, 4 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Speaker: Wesley G. Bush, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman.

Whiting School of Engineering Graduate Ceremony: Wednesday, May 22, 7 p.m., Homewood Field. Speaker: Kenneth W. DeFontes Jr., president and CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Arts and Sciences/Engineering Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony, part of the universitywide Commencement: Thursday, May 23, 8:40 a.m., Homewood Field.

School of Medicine Diploma Award Ceremony: Thursday, May 23, 2:30 p.m., Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Speaker: Jon Lorsch, a JHU professor of biophysics and biophysical chemistry who will become director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences this summer.

SAIS Diploma Award Ceremony: Thursday, May 23, 3 p.m., DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. Speaker: Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent.

School of Nursing Diploma and Award Ceremony: Thursday, May 23, 3 p.m., France Merrick Performing Arts Center (Hippodrome Theatre), 12 N. Eutaw St. Speaker: Martha N. Hill, dean of the school, who is stepping down from her position at the end of the academic year.

The Peabody Institute Diploma Award Ceremony: Thursday, May 23, 7:30 p.m., Friedberg Concert Hall, Peabody. Speaker: Pete Seeger, American folk singer and songwriter, who will receive the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America.

School of Education Diploma Award Ceremony: Thursday, May 23, 7:30 p.m., Homewood Field. Speaker: Wes Moore, youth advocate, Army combat veteran, best-selling author, and Johns Hopkins alumnus.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Master's Diploma Award Ceremony: Friday, May 24, 10 a.m., Homewood Field. Speaker: John M. Bridgeland, president and CEO of Civic Enterprises.

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