Brown University will confer more than 2,000 degrees and present a number of other awards and recognitions, some of which will be delivered by graduates themselves. As graduates look toward their futures, this Commencement also honors the past: Brown is celebrating its 250th year.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In addition to the degrees to be awarded at Brown University’s 246th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 25, numerous students, faculty and others will receive special recognition from the University. Among the awards and honors to be presented at this year’s Commencement ceremonies:

Honorary Degrees

Dr. Kimberly Perez:
The 2014 Commencement marks the semiquincentenary of Brown University: 250 years since the Brown Charter was passed by the General Assembly of the English Colony of Rhode Island in 1764. To honor the succession of men and women “duly qualified for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation,” the University will confer honorary degrees on nine Brown graduates during Commencement ceremonies on the College Green on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Read more about the honorary degrees.

Senior Orators

In a tradition as old as the University, graduating seniors are asked to speak at the University Commencement ceremony. This year’s senior orators are Caroline Bologna and Joshua Block. Their orations were chosen from about 80 proposed orations by a faculty-chaired committee. Read more about the orators.

The Barrett Hazeltine Citation

The Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Excellence in Teaching, Guidance and Support has been presented to faculty by the graduating senior class for more than four decades. Originally the Senior Citation, the award was renamed in 1985 to honor the engineering professor who had received it 13 times. The Class of 2014 has chosen to honor:

  • Michael D. Kennedy, professor of sociology and international studies;
  • Kate Schapira, lecturer in English; and
  • Richard D.Bungiro Jr., lecturer in biology.

Joukowsky Dissertation Award

The Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award is an annual prize awarded by the Graduate School for superior achievements in research by students who are completing their Ph.D.s. Supported through the Joukowsky Family Foundation, the awards are usually given to four students per year, one from each of the four main disciplines: humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. The awards are presented at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

  • Jeffrey W. Miller  |  Applied Mathematics
    “Nonparametric and Variable-Dimension Bayesian Mixture Models: Analysis, Comparison, and New Methods”
  • Nicolas P. Bommarito  |  Philosophy
    “Inner Virtue”
  • Marcela Margaret Louise Soruco  |  Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry
    “The CLAMP Protein Is Essential in Drosophila in Mediating Dosage Compensation Through Increased Targeting to the X-Chromosome and During Development as a Non-Sex Specific Transcription Factor”
  • Sean M. Dinces  |  American Studies
    “Bulls Markets: Power, Place, and Professional Sport in Late Twentieth-Century Chicago”

Horace Mann Medal

The Horace Mann Medal is given annually to a Brown Graduate School alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions in his or her field, inside or outside of academia. This year’s winner is John H. Ewing. Ewing received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Brown in 1971 and has had a distinguished mathematical career and a record of outreach aimed at improving mathematics and science education in U.S. public secondary schools. He is currently president of Math for America, which brings teachers of math and science together into a professional community, where they share knowledge and advance their skills. The award will be presented at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony. Read more about Ewing.

Wilson-DeBlois Award

The Brown University Graduate Student Council confers the Wilson-DeBlois Award annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to graduate students and the Graduate School. This year’s winners are Brian P. Walton, associate dean for administration and program development, and Gail Lee, payroll specialist for the Graduate School. Walton will be recognized as a “tireless advocate for graduate students” who demonstrates “consistent dedication to [students’] wellbeing, both financial and academic.” Lee will be recognized as a problem-solver who “has helped graduate students negotiate difficult financial situations with meticulous care and unwavering support.”

Medical Senior Citation

The Medical Senior Citation is voted by the graduating class of the Warren Alpert Medical School and is the highest award presented to a medical faculty member. This year’s award will go to Dr. Paul George, assistant professor of family medicine, who also received the honor from the M.D. Class of 2013. George is director of the Alpert Medical School’s Primary Care-Population Medicine Program curriculum and co-director of the pre-clinical curriculum. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown and his Master of Health Professions Education degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago. His primary research interests include medical and interprofessional education. He will receive his second consecutive Medical Senior Citation at the Alpert Medical School’s 2014 Commencement ceremony.