BU Today

Campus Life

A Guide to Commencement Speakers

This year’s guests include Leslie Moonves, David Gergen, and Dean Kamen

Speaking events are presented in chronological order.

Baccalaureate Service
9 a.m., Marsh Chapel
Nancy G. Brinker

Nancy Goodman Brinker

Nancy Goodman Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of her sister, who died of the disease in 1980.  Under Brinker’s leadership, the foundation has become one of the nation’s largest grassroots organizations. Brinker has also served on government panels under three U.S. presidents, and she was President George W. Bush’s ambassador to Hungary from 2001 to 2003.


All-University Commencement Exercises
11 a.m., Nickerson Field
Leslie Moonves

Leslie Moonves

Leslie Moonves is the president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, where he oversees all operations of the company, including the CBS Television Network, UPN, King World, and Showtime. As president, he was responsible for the network’s vaulting from last place to first in the ratings, earning CBS the title of “most watched television network.” During his tenure, Moonves developed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,
television’s number-one drama, as well as hits such as Everybody Loves Raymond and Survivor.


 College of Engineering
2:30 p.m., Track and Tennis Center, 100 Ashford Street
Dean Kamen

Dean Kamen is the president of DEKA Research and Development Corporation. He holds more than 400 patents, including the Segway Human Transporter and numerous medical devices. In 2000, President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Technology, and he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame 2005.

Dean Kamen

Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
2:30 p.m., CAS Parking Area (behind Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Avenue)
Claudia Osborn, M.D.

An associate clinical professor of internal medicine at Michigan State University, Claudia Osborn is widely known for her work with people with traumatic brain injury. Osborn, who suffered a brain injury when she was hit by a car, will speak about her personal and professional experiences in “treating the whole individual.” 

Goldman School of Dental Medicine
2:30 p.m., Fitness and Recreation Center Three-Court Gymnasium, 915 Commonwealth Avenue
Robert Faiella, D.M.D.

Robert Faiella is the president of the Massachusetts Dental Society. He received his graduate training in periodontology as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, as well as a master’s of medical science from Harvard Medical School. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the Academy of Osseointegration.  Failla’s talk, The Power of Responsibility, will emphasize the importance of embracing responsibility as the key to professional happiness and success.

School of Education
2:30 p.m., George Sherman Union, Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Avenue
Douglas Sears

Currently the dean of the School of Education, Douglas Sears served as the superintendent of the Chelsea Public Schools for five years, from 1995 to 2000. He also was an American diplomat in Switzerland and the Philippines, earning the Department of State’s Meritorious Honor Award. His speech is titled Constancy.

School of Medicine
3 p.m., Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Avenue
Dick A. J. Brown, M.D.

Dick A. J. Brown is a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine, as well as an obstetrician/gynecologist and director of student education at Boston Medical Center. He has received numerous teaching awards and honors, including nomination for the 2001 Association of American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award.

School of Theology
3:30 p.m., Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Avenue
Franklin Littell

Franklin Littell is an emeritus professor at Temple University and a clergy member of the Wyoming Conference of the United Methodist Church. He will present a speech titled Serving God in an Ungodly World.

Helene Gayle

School of Public Health
3:30 p.m., Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
Helene Gayle, M.D.


Helene Gayle is the president and chief executive officer of CARE USA, a charitable organization that helps millions of people in poor countries recover from natural disasters and other emergencies, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and gain access to health care, education, clean water, and improved sanitation. She will speak to graduates about the future of public health care. 

University Professors Program
3:45 p.m., Metcalf Trustee Center, One Sherborn Street, 9th Floor
James Collins

A University Professor, a professor of biomedical engineering, and codirector of the Center for BioDynamics in the College of Engineering, James Collins has received numerous awards, including a Rhodes scholarship, a MacArthur “genius grant,” the American Society of Biomechanics Young Scientist Award, and the Thomas Stephen Group Prize from the Engineering in Medicine Group of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He will urge graduates to “slow down” and “try not to be too busy.” 

College of Fine Arts
4 p.m., Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue
Joel Sheveloff

A professor of musicology in the College of Fine Arts, Joel Sheveloff received his A.B. from the City University of New York, Queens College, and his M.F.A and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. Since joining Boston University as a professor in 1964, he has developed and taught more than 50 different courses, ranging from medieval keyboard music to opera to the music of the Soviet Union.

School of Hospitality Administration
5:30 p.m. Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Avenue
James Stamas

In addition to his position as dean of the School of Hospitality Administration, Stamas is also the president of Stamas Partners, a management-consulting firm he founded in 1988. Prior to accepting his current position at Boston University, he was a senior vice president of both Omni Hotels and Sonesta Hotels.

Graduate School of Management
6 p.m., Walter Brown Arena, 285 Babcock Street
Richard Cohen

In 1977, Richard Cohen founded the real-estate development corporation Capital Properties in Boston. Over the years, the company has evolved into a regional owner and developer of premier residential and commercial properties in such key markets as New York and Washington, D.C.

School of Law
6 p.m., Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Avenue
David Gergen

Currently a public service professor of public leadership and director of the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University, David Gergen has served as an advisor to four presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. In the mid-1980s he became the editor of U.S. News and World Report, assuming the position of editor-at-large when he joined the Harvard faculty in 1999. In 2000, Gergen published the best-selling Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.

The Metropolitan College
6 p.m., Track & Tennis Center, 100 Ashford Street
Robert F. Stott


Robert Stott

Robert F. Stott is the president of the New England Region for Verizon Wireless. A 40-year veteran of the telecommunications industry, Stott began his career as an equipment installer at New England Telephone. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees as a full time worker, through the telephone company’s tuition reimbursement program, making him an appropriate and inspirational speaker for The Metropolitan College.


Compiled by Gillian Cohen