RIT Hosts 124th Commencement Weekend, May 22-23

Ursula Burns, newly named Xerox CEO, to deliver keynote address during Academic Convocation

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A. Sue Weisler

More than 3,500 graduates will receive RIT degrees this year.

The cycle of higher learning is racing toward another climax as Rochester Institute of Technology prepares to celebrate its 124th annual commencement. Graduating students, their family and friends, and the entire campus community converge for a weekend of pomp and circumstance May 22-23.

Ursula Burns, president and newly named chief executive officer of Xerox Corp., delivers the keynote address during Academic Convocation at 4 p.m. Friday, May 22, in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. She will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the ceremony.

“RIT is extremely pleased to have Ursula Burns as our 2009 commencement speaker,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “She is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the global business world. She is the perfect role model for our students. They will learn that with hard work and perseverance, you can start out as a summer intern and ascend to be a corporate president.”

During Academic Convocation, Destler will confer degrees on more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Other highlights include recognition of students graduating with honors and faculty members who won this year’s outstanding teaching awards.

In addition, RIT will mark a significant milestone by honoring the first graduates in its computing and information sciences doctoral program. Linwei Wang, from Hong Kong, and Erik Golen, from Dartmouth, Mass., will receive their doctorates during a separate graduation observance for RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, set for 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Gordon Field House.

Each of RIT’s eight colleges celebrates commencement with individual ceremonies, during which graduating students receive their diplomas and are recognized individually.

Other RIT college ceremonies are scheduled as follow:

  • E. Philip Saunders College of Business, 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Gordon Field House
  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf, 9 a.m. Saturday, Ritter Ice Arena
  • College of Applied Science and Technology, noon Saturday, Gordon Field House
  • College of Science, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ritter Ice Arena
  • Kate Gleason College of Engineering, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Gordon Field House
  • College of Liberal Arts, 4 p.m. Saturday, Ritter Ice Arena
  • College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Gordon Field House