The University of Chicago News Office
June 6, 2002 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

University of Chicago grants degrees in traditional colorful ceremonies

A mathematical genius and a student who won an award for his theory on controversial Martian rocks are among the undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the University of Chicago.

All of the sessions of the University’s 465th Convocation will be held in the Harper Quadrangle, located just south of 58th Street in the center of the campus. Before the ceremonies, students will assemble at the Henry Crown Field House, University Avenue and 56th Street, for a colorful procession including bagpipes, flags and a parade of faculty in the academic robes and caps of the world’s great universities.

The first session, to be held at 10 a.m. Friday, will include the bestowing of degrees on students in the Law School, the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies and the School of Social Service Administration. At 3 p.m. Friday, graduate students in the Biological Sciences Division, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Graham School of General Studies, the Humanities Division, the Physical Sciences Division, the Social Sciences Division and the Divinity School will receive their degrees

Undergraduates in the College will receive their bachelor’s degrees in a ceremony at 10 a.m Saturday, and students in the Graduate School of Business will receive their degrees at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Among the College graduates is William Lopes, described by Susan Art, Dean of Students in the College, as “one of the most brilliant undergraduate mathematics students to attend the University in a number of years.” Paul Sally, Professor in Mathematics, said, “The last time I had a student like that was in 1970.” Lopes has won a prestigious Churchill scholarship, worth approximately $25,000, which will pay for one year of graduate study as well as living expenses at Churchill College, Cambridge.

Also among the College graduates is Robert Kopp, one of four University of Chicago recipients of an award for a research paper he wrote on a controversial meteorite from Mars. NASA scientists claim the meteorite contains evidence of microbial life on ancient Mars, while Kopp’s research, conducted with Munir Humayun, Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences, suggests the opposite view. Kopp is following in a family tradition of research excellence; his maternal grandfather worked with Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

According to University tradition, commencement speakers are distinguished faculty members who have made extraordinary contributions to their disciplines.

George Chauncey, Professor in History and the College and Director of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project of the Center for Gender Studies, will address the first three convocation sessions. Chauncey, whose research focuses on urbanism, gender, sexuality, subjectivity, and social movements in the 20th century, will deliver the speech “Sexuality, Intimacy and History.”

Ann McGill, Deputy Dean of Full-time M.B.A. Programs and the Sears Roebuck Professor of General Management, Marketing and Behavioral Science in the GSB, will address the convocation session for M.B.A. graduates. McGill, an expert in the areas of consumer and manager decision making, will present a speech titled “Possibility and Responsibility.” GSB alumnus Fred Steingraber (M.B.A., ’64) will also address the audience during this session.
Last modified at 11:26 AM CST on Friday, June 07, 2002.

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