Newswise — Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former Olympian named greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nation’s World Food Programme and one of Time magazine’s 2014 top 100 most influential people in the world; former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar; and other civic and business leaders are the featured speakers at college commencements at the University of Illinois at Chicago May 7-11.
More than 7,500 students will be honored at ceremonies for 14 colleges. Cousin, and Harvard mathematician Shing-Tung Yau, will receive honorary degrees.
With 27,600 students, UIC is Chicago’s largest university and has the nation’s largest medical school. UIC is among the nation’s leading universities in federal research funding.
College commencements take place at the UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave., and the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road. The schedule is as follows:
Honors College: May 7, 7 p.m., UIC Forum. Speaker: former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar.
Nursing: May 8, 1 p.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Barbara Safriet, former associate dean for academic affairs and lecturer at Yale Law School.
Applied Health Sciences: May 8, 2 p.m., UIC Forum. Speaker: Jackie Joyner-Kersee, six-time Olympic medal winner, philanthropist and advocate for education, health, racial equality, social reform and women’s rights.
Education: May 8, 6:30 p.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Barrington Irving, the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the globe.
Public Health: May 8, 7:30 p.m., UIC Forum. Speaker: Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s “The Reid Report.”
Jane Addams College of Social Work: May 9, 9 a.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Sandee Kastrul, president and co-founder of i.c.stars, which helps break the cycle of poverty through youth training in technology, leadership and business skills.
Urban Planning and Public Affairs: May 9, 10 a.m., UIC Forum. Speaker: Lisa Schrader, chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Medicine: May 9, 2 p.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Bechara Choucair, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Pharmacy: May 9, 3:30 p.m., UIC Forum. Speaker: Ron Weinert, vice president for accountable care services for Walgreens.
Business Administration: May 10, 9 a.m. UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Cary Kochman, head of North American mergers and acquisitions at Citigroup.
Dentistry: May 10, 10 a.m., UIC Forum. Speaker: Interim Dean William Knight.
Engineering: May 10, 2 p.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Christopher Burke, professor of civil and materials engineering and founder of Christopher B. Burke Engineering.
Architecture and Arts: May 10, 7 p.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Theaster Gates, artist and innovator in social practice.
Liberal Arts and Sciences: May 11, 10 a.m., UIC Pavilion. Speaker: Ertharin Cousin, UIC alumna and executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme. Cousin will be accepting an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Shing-Tung Yau, the William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University and 1982 winner of the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics, will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
LAS is UIC's largest college commencement, with more than 2,500 graduates. About 7,000 graduates and guests are expected to fill the UIC Pavilion to capacity.