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2018 CLAS Commencement Speaker

Douglas Elliot '82 (BUS), center, listens as President Susan Herbst, right, reads the citation and Lawrence Gramling, associate dean, holds a hood as Elliot receives an honorary degree during the School of Business Commencement ceremony at Gampel Pavilion on May 7, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Douglas Elliot ’82 (BUS), center, listens as President Susan Herbst, right, reads the citation and Lawrence Gramling, associate dean, holds a hood, in preparation for Elliot to receive an honorary degree during the School of Business Commencement ceremony in May 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Whether representing the legal cases of families of children with special needs, leading efforts to teach young and pre-teen girls of color in-demand skills in technology and computer programming, or steering the course of Fidelity Personal Investing, the honored guests of UConn’s commencement ceremonies are leaders in their fields.

Speakers charged with the task of imparting life wisdom to graduates include:

Crystal Emery ’85 (SFA), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Sunday, May 6, 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., Gampel Pavilion
Recipient of Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree

Crystal R. Emery is a dynamic producer, author, and filmmaker known for producing socially conscious works and stories that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit. She is also the founder and CEO of URU, The Right to Be, Inc., a non-profit content production company that tackles social issues via film, theater, publishing, and other arts-based initiatives. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America and New York Women in Film and Television.

Emery is a sought-after speaker and writer. She was hailed as “inspiring,” by the Los Angeles Times and a “leader in science and technology” in Good Housekeeping’s “50 over 50; Women Who are Changing the World.” Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Time magazine and The Huffington Post. To date, her published works include the first two volumes of the Little Man children’s book series, Against All Odds: Black Women in Medicine, and the forthcoming Master Builders of the Modern World: Reimagining the Face of STEM.

Emery began her professional career in theater and film. After receiving her bachelor of arts degree from UConn, majoring in dramatic arts, she apprenticed with renowned theater director Lloyd Richards (“Piano Lesson”) and polished her craft under the tutelage of film industry giant Bill Duke (“A Rage in Harlem”). Emery attained her master of arts in media studies from The New School for Public Engagement. She will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters, and will be the commencement speaker at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduation ceremony in May.

Triumphing over two chronic diseases as a quadriplegic, Emery continues to shape a successful personal and professional life. She attributes her breakthrough as a producer and writer, and growth as a human being, to her participation in the classes taught by Guru Madeleine at The New School of Learning in New Rochelle, New York.

By Kristen Cole | Story courtesy of UConn Today


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