Undergraduate Commencement Speakers in the 2010s

2010 - May 8/9

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture - Jerold Mande

Mande was deputy under secretary for food safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and he received a degree in nutritional sciences from UConn in 1978

School of Business - Keith R. Fox

Fox was chief executive officer of the Keith and Pamela Fox Family Foundation

Bachelor of General Studies - Julie Armstrong Muth

Armstrong Muth was director of nursing quality at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Payne Whitney, Manhattan and she received her BGS in 1995 and master’s degree in 2008, both from UConn.

Neag School of Education - Geno Auriemma

Auriemma was head coach of the NCAA Champion UConn women’s basketball team and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

School of Engineering - Robert P. Madonna

Madonna was founder and chief executive officer of Savant Systems and he received a degree in biomedical engineering at UConn in 1982.

School of Fine Arts - Robert Glidde

Glidden was the retired president of Ohio University.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Michael Turvey

Turvey was a UConn emeritus professor of psychology.

School of Nursing -Beverly Malon

Malone was chief executive officer for the National League for Nursing (NLN).

School of Pharmacy -Joseph D. Palo

Palo was president of JD Pharma LLC, a private pharmaceutical consulting firm and received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and master’s in business at UConn.

2011 May 7 & 8

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture - Andrea Dennis-LaVigne, D.V.M

Dennis-LaVigne is a private practice veterinarian and a member of the UConn Board of Trustees.

School of Business - Gwo-Duan "David" Jou, Ph.D.

Dr. Jou (CLAS - M.S. 1989; BUS - Ph.D. 1992) is founder and chairman of Bigrock Asset Management Company.

Bachelor of General Studies - Susan Rigano

Rigano, (BGS, 1998) is the executive director of the Stamford Public Education Foundation.

Neag School of Education - Kelci Stringer

Stringer is founder and CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute, a research center based in UConn’s kinesiology program in the Neag School of Education.

School of Engineering - Charles M. Vest, Ph.D.

Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering and president emeritus of the Masschusetts Institute of Technology.

School of Fine Arts - Mia Farrow

Farrow is an acclaimed actress and outspoken champion of human rights.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh

Zirakzadeh is a professor of political science in the CLAS Department of Political science.

[NOTE: The announced speaker, William Trueheart, president and chief executive officer of Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, was unable to attend the CLAS ceremony.]

School of Nursing - Robin D. Froman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Froman, a multiple UConn alumna and formerly on the School of Nursing faculty, was dean at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

School of Pharmacy - Erica Peitler

Peitler, author, speaker, leadership performance coach, is founder of Erica Peitler & Associates, a leadership coaching and consulting firm.

2012 May 5 & 6

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture - Marshall Matz

Matz, '78 (BUS) was an attorney specializing in food, nutrition and agriculture.

School of Business - Claire Leonardi

Leonardi was CEO and executive director, Connecticut Innovations, and was a former member of the UConn Board of Trustees.

Bachelor of General Studies - Denis Merrill

Merril, Connecticut's Secretary of the State, was a former State Representative for Mansfield (54th District, Dem.).

Neag School of Education - Stefan Pryor

Pryor was commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education.

School of Engineering - Arunava Majumdar

Majumdar was director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy.

School of Fine Arts - Ben Cameron

Cameron was program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Susan Herbst and Joelle Katz

12:30 p.m. ceremony - Herbst was president of UConn and previously was executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia.

5 p.m. ceremony - Katz, ('77 LAW), was commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and an associate justice of the State Supreme Court.

School of Nursing - Donna M. Nickitas

Nickitas was deputy executive officer for the Doctor of Nursing Science Program, City University of New York.

School of Pharmacy - Richard. T. Carbray
Carbray '75 Ph.D., was owner of Apex Pharmacy and Home Health Center, and a member of the UConn Board of Trustees.

2013 May 11 & 12

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture - Charles Zwick

Zwick '50 (CANR), ’51 MS, was director of the federal Office of Management and Budget, Lyndon Johnson administration.

School of Business - Daniel Toscano

Toscano '87 (BUS), was managing director and head of Global Leveraged and Acquisition Finance, Morgan Stanley.

Bachelor of General Studies - Lauren DiGrazia

DiGrazia '03 (BGS) was the registrar of University of Connecticut.

Neag School of Education - Wally Lamb

Lamb, '72 (CLAS), ’77 MA, was an author and former UConn associate professor of Engish.

School of Engineering - Elizabeth Shanahan

Shanahan was executive director and CEO for the Society of Women Engineers.

School of Fine Arts - Jerry Adler

Adler was an actor and award-winning theatrical director.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Dr. Frank Torti & Denise Merrill

12:30 p.m. ceremony - Torti was dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

5 p.m. ceremony - Merrill, former state representative for Mansfield, was Connecticut's Secretary of the State.

School of Nursing - Barbara Jacobs

Jacobs was director of Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, Hartford Hospital

School of Pharmacy - Robert Bepko

Bepko Jr. '77 (PHARM) was director of professional services, Norwalk Hospital.


Information on the History of Commencement pages was researched and compiled by Mark J. Roy