BU Today


Leslie Moonves to give Commencement address

CBS president and CEO will receive Doctor of Humane Letters

Leslie Moonves

Speaking at this morning’s 2006 Senior Breakfast, University President Robert Brown announced that Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, will deliver the main address at Boston University’s Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 14. Moonves, who will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, oversees all operations of the company, including the CBS Television Network, the CW Network, the new fifth broadcast network that is a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment, CBS Television Stations, CBS Paramount Television, King World, Showtime, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, Simon & Schuster, CBS Digital Media, CSTV Networks, Inc., and CBS Consumer Products.

Brown also announced that Nancy Goodman Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2001 to 2003, will speak at the Baccalaureate Service at Marsh Chapel on Commencement morning. She will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters. The mission of the Komen Foundation is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment. The foundation has collected more than $750 million to fund these activities.

Nancy Goodman Brinker 

Others who will receive honorary degrees are Boston University President Emeritus and MED Dean Emeritus Aram Chobanian; Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway Human Transporter and president of DEKA Research and Development Corporation; Frederick S. Pardee (SMG’54, GSM’54), philanthropist and benefactor of the University’s Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future; and Patricia Meyer Spacks, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Aram V. Chobanian, M.D., who will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, became a faculty member at Boston University School of Medicine in 1962 and subsequently served as head of the Division of Medicine’s Hypertension and Atherosclerosis Section. In 1973, Chobanian became the founding director of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute. From 1975 to 1995, he directed the National Institutes of Health–funded National Hypertension Specialized Center of Research. He became dean of the School of Medicine in 1988 and provost of the Boston University Medical Campus in 1996. In October 2003, Chobanian was appointed president ad interim and subsequently president of Boston University. Last September, he became president emeritus and resumed duties as a University Professor and the John I. Sandson Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences.

Dean Kamen 

Inventor Dean Kamen, who will be given a Doctor of Science, holds more than 400 U.S. and foreign patents. His innovative devices have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. Kamen has received the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment (1998); the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton (2000); the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2002); and numerous honorary degrees. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and in 2005 was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

School of Management alumnus Frederick S. Pardee, who will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, is the benefactor of Boston University’s Pardee Professorship and Visiting Professorship in Future Studies, the School of Management Library, and the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. In addition, he has endowed both the Pardee RAND Graduate School to support advances in policy analysis methodology and the multidisciplinary focus of its curriculum and the RAND Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. Pardee serves on the Boston University School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council, the Pardee RAND Graduate School Board of Governors, and the RAND President’s Circle. Boston University awarded him an Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession in 1996.

Frederick S. Pardee

Patricia Meyer Spacks, who will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, has published numerous books and essays on literary criticism, novelists, poets, and aspects of culture, including The Poetry of Vision; The Female Imagination; Desire and Truth: Functions of Plot in Eighteenth-Century English Novels; Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind; Privacy: Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self; and, published this year, Novel Beginnings: Experiments in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction.

Spacks is an active member of professional and honorary societies and has been president of the Modern Language Association, chair of the board of

Patricia Meyers Spacks

directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, a member of the board of trustees of the National Humanities Center, and most recently, vice president, then president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received many honors, including the Francis Andrew March Award for service to the profession and fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Humanities Institute. Spacks was elected to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she served as the first humanities scholar-in-residence.