By: Sheila Foran,
The University of Connecticut will hold 12 separate graduation ceremonies and award approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate diplomas during the weekend of May 11 -12. Separate ceremonies will be held on May 13 for the schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, and on May 19 for the School of Law.
Commencement speakers representing various aspects of business, the arts, engineering, medicine, and the humanities will address the graduates, and several of them are among the eight recipients of honorary degrees that will be bestowed during the weekend.
Among the speakers is Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Corp., who will be speaking at the Graduate School commencement at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the ceremony.
Immelt was named to his current position at General Electric in 2001, following a nearly 20-year career with the company in increasingly responsible roles. Among his many activities and achievements, he serves as a trustee of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library, and as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He was named Financial Times “Man of the Year” in 2003 and has been named one of the “World’s Best CEO’s” three times byBarron’s.
Under his leadership, General Electric and UConn have collaborated on a number of important initiatives. Last fall, a five-year $7.5 million commitment from the company was announced that includes philanthropic support through the University of Connecticut Foundation as well as sponsorship of UConn research.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) will hold two ceremonies for graduates, one at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and one at 5 p.m. later that afternoon. Students will attend either the first or second ceremony, based on their major. Speaking at the first ceremony will be Dr. Frank Torti, dean of the UConn School of Medicine. Addressing the afternoon gathering will be Connecticut Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill ’88 (BGS).
Torti is vice president for health affairs at the UConn Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine. He also holds a Board of Trustees professorship in the Department of Medicine at the Health Center.
He received his BA and MA degrees from Johns Hopkins University, his MD from Harvard Medical School (cum laude), and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, where he trained in cancer epidemiology and nutrition. Torti is a well-known physician and clinical investigator who has designed and executed clinical trials in urologic cancer that have been used throughout the world. He has been routinely selected by his peers in polls and in national magazines of “America’s top doctors” and “top cancer doctors.”
Torti is involved in many national organizations and is the founding and past president of the Cancer Biology Training Consortium, a national society of cancer biology chairs and program directors that now involves 70 U.S. academic medical centers. He serves on the external advisory board for five comprehensive cancer centers, as well as the state of North Carolina’s Drug Discovery Center of Innovation’s scientific advisory board. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of American Cancer Institutes and of the National Coalition for Cancer Research. He served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and was recently appointed to the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee and the Board of Scientific Advisors.