Gov. Jennifer Granholm to deliver U-M commencement address
ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm
will deliver the main address and receive an honorary degree when
the University of Michigan holds its spring commencement exercises
on Saturday, April 26 in Michigan Stadium.
The honorary degree for Granholm, as well as for
five additional recipients, was approved by the U-M regents at their
March 20 meeting.
"I am gratified that Gov. Granholm will deliver
this year's Commencement addressin my first year as president
of the University and her first year as governor," said Mary
Sue Coleman. "Gov. Granholm represents an example of energetic
and dedicated public service that will be of great value to our
graduates as they begin the next stage of their lives."
The honorary degrees to be conferred are Granholm,
doctor of laws; Oleg Grabar, professor emeritus at the Princeton
Institute for Advanced Studies, doctor of humane letters; Judith
Jamison, director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, doctor
of fine arts; Hillel I. Shuval, Lunenfeld-Kunen Professor of Environmental
Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, doctor of science;
John J.H. Schwarz, former Michigan state senator representing Battle
Creek, doctor of laws; and Billy Taylor, jazz pianist and educator,
doctor of music.
Governor Jennifer Granholm
Schwarz will be the main speaker at the University
Graduate Exercises on April 25, and Taylor will receive his honorary
degree and serve as the main speaker at the commencement ceremonies
for the University of Michigan-Flint on May 4.
Granholm will also address more than 6,000 Michigan
State University undergraduates at convocation ceremonies on Friday,
May 2 in East Lansing.
"I am thrilled to be speaking to the Class
of 2003 at the University of Michigan," said Granholm. "These
young people are our future. This is the perfect opportunity to
talk to them about how they will impact our world."
Granholm was inaugurated as Michigan's 47th governor,
and the state's first female governor, on January 1, 2003. Previously
she served as the state attorney general following her election
in November 1998. As attorney general she established the state's
first High Tech Crime Unit to prosecute Internet crimes. Her office
brought the nation's first criminal charges against an on-line company
selling GHB, the date-rape drug, via the Internet, and was the first
law enforcement official to use racketeering charges to successfully
shut down a for-profit child pornography Web site. She took criminal
action against numerous nursing homes and physicians for the neglect
or abuse of their patients or for Medicaid fraud.
The first person in her family to attend college,
Granholm earned a bachelor's degree in political science and French
from the University of California-Berkeley, where she graduated
Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors. At Harvard Law School, she was
editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law
Review, and graduated with honors in 1987. She clerked for U.S.
Judge Damon Keith on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1990,
Granholm became a federal prosecutor in Detroit, and in 1994 she
was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel.
is the former Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture
at Harvard University and is emeritus at the Princeton Institute
for Advanced Study. He received the prestigious Charles Lang Freer
medal "in recognition of his enormous impact on American understanding
of Islamic art," by the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. in
April 2001. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and completed
his doctoral studies in Oriental languages, literature and art history
at Princeton University. Grabar is a leading expert in the field
of Islamic Art and the architecture of Jerusalem. He served on the
faculty of the University of Michigan from 1955-1969.
Grabar's writings have played a crucial role in defining new frameworks
for studying the field of Islamic art and architecture during the
past quarter century. He is the founding editor of Muqarnas, the
annual journal on Islamic art and architecture.
has been artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
since 1989, following Ailey's death. A highly regarded choreographer,
she has created works for many companies, including HERE...NOW,
commissioned for the 2002 Cultural Olympiad of the 2002 Olympic
Winter Games. In 1999, she was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for
her "unique and extremely valuable contributions to the cultural
life of our nation," and she was presented with a National
Medal of Arts, the most prestigious award for an artist in the United
States, by President Bush. She holds an honorary doctorate from
Howard University. She was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography
for the PBS documentary "A Hymn for Alvin Ailey."
Discovered by Agnes DeMille, Jamison made her New York City debut
with the American Ballet Theater in 1964 and joined the Alvin Ailey
Dance Company in 1965. In 1971, Ailey choreographed "Cry"
expressly for her: a 15-minute solo depicting the struggles of Black
women, which became her signature piece.
Hillel I. Shuval
a 1952 alumnus of U-M's School of Public Health, was the founder
of the first environmental protection program in the State of Israel
and the originator and later director of environmental science program
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was professor of
environmental sciences. He is a world authority on water supplies
and public health, whose research and service have been supported
by major international organizations.
Shuval has been especially effective in building
bridges of understanding through scientific cooperation among Israel,
the Palestinian community and neighboring Arab states, pioneering
numerous collaborative studies to address shared environmental problems.
He has served as advisor to the World Bank and the World Health
Organization. He is also a strong advocate for civil rights and
for scientific, cultural and religious freedom in Israel. He is
currently chairman of the Council for Freedom of Science, Religion
and Culture in Israel.
John J.H. (Joe) Schwarz, M.D.
16 years in the Michigan State Senate, Schwarz championed public
higher education, most recently as chair of the higher education
subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Prior to serving
in the Michigan Senate, Schwarz was Mayor of Battle Creek from 1985-1987
and a Battle Creek Commissioner from 1979-1987. Schwarz practices
medicine and surgery in Battle Creek and is on the active staff
of the Battle Creek Health System.
Schwarz received an A.B. in history from the University
of Michigan, and his M.D. from Wayne State University. He completed
his residency training in otolaryngology at Harvard and is a fellow
of the American College of Surgeons. He is past president of the
Calhoun County Medical Society, and a past trustee of Leila Post
Montgomery Hospital in Battle Creek. He serves on the Alumni Visiting
Committee for the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at
the University of Michigan and on the visiting Alumni Committee
for the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He is a trustee
of Olivet College. Schwarz also served in the United States Navy
in Vietnam and Indonesia.
has been playing jazz piano for well over 50 years. During the second
half of the 20th century, perhaps no other musician has done as
much to place jazz music into the consciousness of the American
Taylor made his first professional appearance
at age 13. He studied classical music with Henry Grant, who had
also trained Duke Ellington. He earned a bachelor's degree in music
from Virginia State College in 1942 and went immediately to New
York City, where he began his full time professional career. He
completed his doctorate in music education at the University of
Massachusetts at Amherst, where he currently occupies the Wilber
D. Barrett Chair of Music. He also is a Duke Ellington Fellow at
In 1942, Taylor quickly caught the attention of
major jazz musicians of the time such as Ben Webster, Charlie Parker,
Miles Davis and Lester Young. His talent for educating people about
jazz showed first in a 13-part series produced in 1958 for National
Educational Television called "The Subject is Jazz." Since
then Taylor has appeared on CBS Television and on public television.
But he really found a home on radio: he became a disc jockey on
New York's WLIB in 1959, where he became "the voice of jazz
in New York." In 1962 he joined WNEW in New York as the first
African American to host a daily show on a major New York station.
In 1992 President George Bush presented Taylor
with the National Medal of Arts and in 1994 he was named artistic
advisor for jazz at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact: Joel Seguine
Phone: (734) 936-6396