Pharrell Williams, the Musician, Songwriter, and Producer, to Speak at NYU’s Commencement


Honorary Degree Recipients also include Thomas R. Frieden, most recent head of the Centers for Disease Control, Nobel Prize Winning Chemist Jean-Marie Pierre Lehn, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Author Melissa V. Harris-Perry, and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly

the University’s 185th Commencement Exercises will be held Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in Yankee Stadium.

NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Board of Trustees Chairman William Berkley today announced the names of those to be honored at the University’s 185th Commencement Exercises, which will be held Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in Yankee Stadium.

Pharrell Williams, the musician, songwriter, and producer, who has earned 11 Grammy Awards, and is a two-time Academy Award nominee, will address the graduates and guests on behalf of all the degree recipients. Williams, who was an artist in residence at Tisch School of the Arts last year, will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa, at the ceremony.

This year’s other recipients of honorary doctorates are:

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH—physician, public health leader, and former head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—will receive a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa.

Jean-Marie Pierre Lehn, PhD

Jean-Marie Pierre Lehn, PhD—Nobel prize-winning chemist and professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study—will receive a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa.

Barbara A. Mikulski

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski—the first Democratic woman Senator elected in her own right and the longest serving woman Senator in U.S. history when she retired earlier this year—will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords

Mark Kelly, Captain USN

The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly, Captain USN—co-founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions and gun violence prevention advocates after Giffords, a former Congresswoman from Arizona’s 8th District, survived an assassination attempt that left her with a traumatic brain injury—will both receive the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Melissa V. Harris-Perry

Melissa V. Harris-Perry, PhD—the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, professor, and author addressing justice, gender, and race— will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Anthony Welters

The “Albert Gallatin Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Society” will be presented to Anthony Welters, an NYU Law alumnus, renowned entrepreneur, visionary leader, and philanthropist who serves as Chairman of the Board of New York University School of Law, Vice Chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees, and Trustee of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Carl Weisbrod

The “Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City” will be presented to Carl Weisbrod, the former Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission, the Chairman for the Trust for Governors Island, and a Senior Fellow at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management. An NYU Law alumnus, Weisbrod is receiving the Award in recognition of his transformative role in the economic development of New York City over the last four decades.

Candidate ticket reservations for commencement opened on March 13.

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