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IRVINE — The University of California, Irvine will award 6,508 degrees to the class of 2008 during the campus’s 43rd commencement exercises to be held over two weeks on campus at the Bren Events Center.
Undergraduates will be honored during ceremonies from June 13 to 15. For the first time in UC Irvine’s history, graduate students will be recognized at their own June 7 commencement ceremony separate from the undergraduate ceremonies. University of California President Robert C. Dynes will be on hand to congratulate the graduate students.
Academic degrees to be awarded include 5,183 bachelor’s degrees, 884 master’s degrees and 351 doctoral degrees. In addition, the School of Medicine awarded doctor of medicine degrees to 90 students at a separate May 31 ceremony.
Graduates of this year’s class will join the more than 107,000 alumni of UC Irvine. In addition to distinguishing themselves as Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, gold medal Olympians and performing artists, many alumni have become prominent members of the community in business, government, politics, education and other fields.
June 7 ceremony schedule
• Graduate Student Commencement, all academic units: 4 p.m.
Featured speaker: Arden L. Bement Jr., Ph.D., director of the National Science Foundation. As the 12th director of the NSF, Bement heads the only federal agency that funds research and education in all fields of science and engineering, overseeing an annual budget of $6 billion and programs that support more than 200,000 researchers nationwide. Since 2006, Bement has taken a lead role in developing programs to improve the country’s scientific and economic base as part of the American Competitiveness Initiative. Bement is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Student speaker: Melissa Bruninga-Matteau, doctoral candidate, School of Humanities.
June 13 ceremony schedule
• The Henry Samueli School of Engineering: 9 a.m.
Featured speaker: Robert Liebeck, Ph.D., senior fellow at The Boeing Company; professor of the practice of aeronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and adjunct professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, UC Irvine. Liebeck has worked at Boeing for 47 years, serving as program manager during the development of numerous classified airplanes. As an instructor at MIT and UCI, he teaches courses in aerodynamics, flight mechanics and airplane design. Liebeck, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, also has designed wings for racing cars that have won NASCAR and Formula 1 races.
Student speaker: Rita Blaik, baccalaureate candidate, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering.
• School of Social Ecology – Ceremony 1: 1 p.m.
Featured speaker: Ralph Catalano, Ph.D., M.R.P., professor of public health, UC Berkeley. Catalano is a leader in public health, researching the economic causes of stress-related illnesses and mental health services utilization. In addition, he serves as the director of UC Berkeley’s Ph.D. program in public health. Before joining Berkeley’s faculty in 1989, Catalano spent 17 years on the UCI faculty in the School of Social Ecology. During his time at UCI, Catalano was assistant vice chancellor for academic plans and programs, and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.
• School of Social Ecology – Ceremony 2: 5 p.m.
Featured speaker: Ralph Catalano, Ph.D. See above.
June 14 ceremony schedule
• School of Humanities: 9 a.m.
Featured speaker: John R. (Jack) Miles, Distinguished Professor of English and religious studies, UC Irvine. A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Miles is an expert on the relationship between theology and culture, and on the religious texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Miles won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his book, “God: A Biography,” which has been translated into 16 languages. Before joining the UCI faculty in 2007, Miles was an editor at Doubleday, executive editor at the University of California Press, and on the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times.
Student speaker: Mark Mikin, baccalaureate candidate, School of Humanities
• Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, School of Physical Sciences: 1 p.m.
Featured speaker: Michael Prather, Ph.D., professor and Fred Kavli Chair of Earth System Science, UC Irvine. A climate change specialist, Prather was lead author for atmospheric chemistry on two reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that earned the IPCC a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Prather’s research looks at how human activities and natural phenomena alter the distribution of gasses in the atmosphere and affect climate change.
• School of Biological Sciences: 5 p.m.
Featured speaker: M. Marlene Godoy ’76, D.D.S. Since graduating from UCI in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, Godoy has remained an active member of the UCI community and influential in the health community in Southern California. While maintaining her private dental practice in Tustin, Godoy has served on the dental faculty at USC, and worked as co-editor of a monthly journal for Orange County dentists. She also volunteers for clinical dental programs that provide treatment to children in underserved communities. In 2004, Godoy established a scholarship in her name that is awarded annually to a UCI biological sciences student.
June 15 ceremony schedule
• The Paul Merage School of Business: 9 a.m.
Featured speaker: Joseph D. Gatto, vice chairman and co-head of corporate finance, Lehman Brothers. As a leader of the global investment bank Lehman Brothers, Gatto is in charge of building the mergers and acquisitions practice. Before joining Lehman Brothers, Gatto worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years. Over the past five years, Gatto has advised clients on transactions totaling more than $100 billion. He is a member of the board of overseers at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a member of the advisory council of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
• School of Social Sciences – Ceremony 1: 1 p.m.
Featured speaker/student speaker: John Wie, baccalaureate candidate, School of Social Sciences. Wie will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in film and media studies. While at UCI, Wie wrote for the student newspaper, New University, and was undergraduate director for the Model United Nations program.
• School of Social Sciences – Ceremony 2: 5 p.m.
Featured speaker/student speaker: Yvette Shirinian, baccalaureate candidate, School of Social Sciences. Shirinian will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in global peace and conflict studies. She founded and was president of UCI’s Darfur Action Committee and participated as a member of the Mock Trial team. Shirinian will complete a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs before attending graduate school in public policy or international affairs.
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 2,000 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.6 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
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