University of South Carolina

Bernanke, Robinson to address graduates

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson will be among the speakers at the University of South Carolina’s commencement exercises for its Columbia campus May 7 –8.

Bernanke will address graduates during the commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Colonial Life Arena and will receive an honorary doctorate of business administration. Graduates of South Carolina Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences will receive degrees.

Bernanke grew up in Dillon, S.C., where he waited tables during summers at South of the Border, a restaurant and motel popular with travelers.

He began his second term Feb. 1, 2010, as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He took office as chairman in February 2006, when he also began a 14-year term as a member of the board. From June 2005 to January 2006, he was chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. Before joining the Federal Reserve, Bernanke was a professor of economics and public affairs and chair of the Economics Department at Princeton University. His teaching career also included serving as an associate and assistant professor of economics at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and as visiting professor of economics at New York University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He earned a B.A. in economics from Harvard University (summa cum laude), and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Robinson, an associate editor and columnist for The Washington Post, will address graduates at two ceremonies at the Colonial Life Arena – at 3 p.m. Friday, May 7, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8. At the Friday ceremony, the Darla Moore School of Business, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, South Carolina College of Pharmacy and Arnold School of Public Health will receive degrees. The 3 p.m. Saturday ceremony is for the Colleges of Education, Social Work, Engineering and Computing, Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, the School of Music, the Fort Jackson Military Base Program, Interdisciplinary Programs and Palmetto Programs. Robinson will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the Friday ceremony.

An Orangeburg native and a graduate of Orangeburg Wilkinson High School, Robinson won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his writing about the 2008 presidential campaign. He has spent 25 years at The Washington Post, working as city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s Style section. In 2005 he started writing a column for the op-ed page. His work is syndicated through the Washington Post Writers Group. He is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Stephen James Lippard, an inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry researcher and educator, will receive an honorary doctorate of science during the ceremony Saturday morning.

The weekend of ceremonies will get under way with commencement exercises for the School of Law at 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 7, on the historic Horseshoe. Columbia attorney William C. Hubbard, a member and former chair of the USC Board of Trustees, will speak and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Hubbard, a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, is the chair of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, the second highest elected office in the organization. The law school will confer 201 degrees.

At 12:30 p.m., the School of Medicine will award 78 medical degrees during its commencement ceremonies in the Koger Center. Dr. O’Neill Barrett Jr., a retired professor and former chair of the Department of Medicine at the USC School of Medicine, will speak. Charles D. Beaman Jr., president and chief executive officer of Palmetto Health, will receive an honorary doctor of public administration degree.

Commencement exercises for 96 doctoral degree candidates will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 8, in the Koger Center. Dr. Gordon Smith, director of the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies, will speak.

The Columbia campus expects to award two associate degrees; 2,761 baccalaureate degrees; 106 pharmacy degrees, 48 graduate certificates; 1,026 master’s degrees; and 30 specialist degrees.

Commencement exercises at the other campuses are as follows:

Aiken – 7 p.m. May 6, Convocation Center. Dr. Nils Juan Diaz, past chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and managing director of the ND2 Group, will speak and receive an honorary doctor of public service degree. South Carolina artist James W. Harrison will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. The Aiken campus will award 284 baccalaureate degrees and 16 master’s degrees.

Beaufort – 6 p.m. April 30, Brantley and Helen Harvey Plaza on the Hilton Head Gateway campus in Bluffton. South Carolina artist Jonathan Green will speak. Joseph B. Fraser Jr., Hilton Head Island developer and philanthropist, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. USC Beaufort will award one associate degree and 109 baccalaureate degrees. Lancaster – 2:30 p.m. May 1, James Bradley Arts and Sciences Building. Retired physician Dr. William Lee McDow will speak. USC Lancaster will award 140 associate degrees.

Salkehatchie – 7 p.m. May 3, Conference Center on the West Campus. M. Edward Sellers, chair and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the Companion group of companies, will speak. The Salkehatchie campus will award 145 associate degrees.

Sumter – 7 p.m. May 5, Nettles Auditorium. Charles T. “Bud” Ferillo Jr., president of Ferillo and Associates Inc., will speak. USC Sumter will award 61 associate degrees.

Union – 7 p.m. May 1, Truluck Activity Center. Henry H. “Hal” Johnson III, president of Upstate Alliance, will speak. USC Union will award 38 associate degrees.

Upstate – 7 p.m. May 4, Quad behind the Administration Building. Spartanburg Mayor William Barnet III, will speak and receive an honorary doctor of public service degree. Marc C. Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. USC Upstate will award 607 baccalaureate degrees and five master’s degrees.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 04/26/10 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 05/07/10 @ 6:35 PM | Permalink