April 6, 2017

Commencement Update: The Rule of Four … and More

Photo of CGU students at the 2016 Commencement ceremony
Crowd shot of the 89th annual Claremont Graduate University Commencement Ceremony.

At CGU, the number four is important.

It’s been important, in fact, since the university’s beginning. In 1928, the university marked an early milestone: the conferral of its first graduate degrees.

How many recipients were there? Four.

Next month, as the university celebrates its 90th Commencement ceremony, that number will be important again: Four honorary degrees will be conferred during the ceremony to celebrate our most recent graduates. (Those honorary recipients—as well as this year’s two recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award—are listed below the Schedule of Events.)

Commencement begins at 9:00 am, May 13, on the Harvey S. Mudd Quadrangle, located along 10th Street on the north side of Honnold/Mudd Library.

Keynote remarks will be given by mathematics alumnus and cancer research pioneer Jack Cuzick ’74, who was honored last year by Queen Elizabeth II.

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 12, 2017
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm: “Leadership Outside the Lines” – A panel discussion with Jack Cuzick ’74, Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Steven Koblik, Barbara Semans, Oliver Semans, and Gloria Willingham-Touré ’96

Albrecht Auditorium, 925 N. Dartmouth Avenue

Saturday, May 13, 2017
8:00 am: Graduates check in and line up for the processional at Dartmouth Avenue and north of Eighth Street.

8:30 am: Faculty, Staff, Trustees, and honored guests line up for the processional in DesCombes Family Quad

9:00 am: 90th Commencement ceremony

11:30 am: Post-Commencement school receptions

Honorary Degree Recipients

Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Lisa Seacat DeLuca is a technology strategist for IBM Commerce. A TED speaker and author of two children’s books, she is the most prolific female inventor in IBM history. At 34, DeLuca became one of the youngest inventors at IBM to ever reach the 100th Invention Plateau Award (an IBM internal patent award system). Her innovation portfolio includes more than 700 patent applications, of which 250 have been granted to date for technologies ranging from cloud and mobile to commerce and IoT. DeLuca was named one of the “Most Influential Women in IoT” (2016) and one of MIT’s “35 Innovators Under 35” (2015), among other honors. DeLuca holds an MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business and a BS in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Photo of Lisa Seacat DeLuca
Lisa Seacat DeLuca

Steven S.  Koblik, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Steven S. Koblik is the retired former president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, where during a 15-year career he tripled the library’s endowment and doubled its operating budget. A longtime Claremont resident, Koblik served as a professor of history at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University for more than 20 years, was dean of the faculty at Scripps College from 1989 until 1992, and was president of Reed College from 1992 to 2001, where he oversaw a successful $100-million capital campaign. Koblik holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Scandinavian Languages from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s in International Relations from University of Stockholm, and a doctorate in Modern European History from Northwestern University.

Photo of Steven S. Koblik
Steven S. Koblik

Barbara R. and Oliver J. Semans, Doctors of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Barbara and Oliver (OJ) Semans, both enrolled members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, helped form Four Directions Inc. after leading the historic Native Vote project in South Dakota’s 2002 U.S. Senate race. For that effort, the 21st Century Democrats awarded them the 2003 Paul Wellstone Grassroots Award. The Semans have continued to lead nonpartisan Native Voter engagement, empowerment, protection, and voting rights work across the country. In 2005, OJ Semans testified before the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act before the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, and in 2014 he testified again before the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act. The Semanses have also been involved in Voting Rights Act litigation in South Dakota and Montana. Working with Minnesota Tribes in 2014, they established satellite voting offices on the three largest Indian reservations without litigation. OJ’s editorials have been featured in Indian Country Today Media Network, and he’s been an invited speaker at several voting rights conferences.

Photo of Barbara R. and Oliver J. Semans
Barbara R. and Oliver J. Semans

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

The university will also honor two Distinguished Alumni at its Friday Commencement Forum and dinner.

Jack Cuzick
Jack Cuzick CBE FRS (Mathematics, PhD, ’74), a pioneering cancer researcher, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is bestowed upon CGU graduates who have made extraordinary contributions in their academic or professional fields. Cuzick is regarded for his groundbreaking research on the drug tamoxifen, an estrogen inhibitor that has been used for decades to treat and prevent certain types of breast cancer. He directs the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and heads the Centre for Cancer Prevention, both at Queen Mary University of London, where he is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology. Cuzick will also give the keynote address at Saturday’s ceremony.

Photo of Jack Cuzick
Jack Cuzick

Gloria Willingham-Touré
Gloria Willingham-Touré (Education, PhD, ’96) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. The Distinguished Alumni Service Award honors CGU alumni who have achieved recognition for their philanthropic or volunteer service to the university and to society. She is the CEO of Afram Global Organization Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization based in Southern California, and the founder of its Village P.r.o.j.e.c.t.s., which seeks to create environments in which persons from diverse circumstances take part in co-learning experiences that bridge the opportunity gaps, retain the respective cultures, and ultimately benefit society.

Photo of Gloria Willingham-Touré
Gloria Willingham-Touré

Visit here  https://www.cgu.edu/student-life/commencement/  for more information about Commencement, parking, accommodations, live-streams of the ceremony, and more.