Commencement Honorands Announced

IBM Chairman and CEO, World Wide Web inventor, and renowned geneticist will receive honorary degrees

Ginni Rometty, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM, will address graduates on May 24 at the 208th Commencement Ceremony of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rometty will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony, along with World Wide Web inventor Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, and pioneering geneticist Mary-Claire King.

“At Rensselaer we ask, ‘Why not change the world?,’” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “In each of their arenas, our 2014 honorary degree recipients—IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty; father of the World Wide Web Sir Timothy Berners-Lee; and renowned geneticist Mary-Claire King—have done just that. Each has asked the critical questions, made the essential connections, and created the tools and technologies to harness the power and potential of data and its complexity in ways that have enabled transformational change.”

Ginni Rometty
Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty, B.S., is chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM. She has held a series of leadership positions in IBM, most recently as senior vice president and group executive, IBM Sales, Marketing and Strategy. She previously served as senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services, where she led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. In prior leadership roles, she served as general manager of IBM Global Services, Americas, as well as general manager of IBM’s Global Insurance and Financial Services Sector. She received a bachelor’s degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University.

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy
Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, B.A., invented the World Wide Web and wrote the first Web client and server. He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group. He is also a professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK. He is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, a Web standards organization, and is director of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched to coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree with first honors from The Queen’s College at Oxford University, England.

Mary-Claire King
Mary-Claire King

Mary-Claire King

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., is the American Cancer Society Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families, as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1. She pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for human rights investigations, developing the approach of sequencing mitochondrial DNA preserved in human remains, then applying this method to the identification of kidnapped children in Argentina and subsequently to cases of human rights violations on six continents. She received her bachelor’s cum laude in mathematics from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.; her doctoral degree in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley; and her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco.

2014 President’s Commencement Colloquy

On the eve of Commencement, Rensselaer will convene for the 2014 President’s Commencement Colloquy. Led by President Jackson, Rometty, Berners-Lee, and King will participate in a discussion titled “Creating Clarity in Complexity to Enable Transformational Change.”

The Colloquy will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23, in the concert hall of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

Additional information regarding the 208th Commencement at Rensselaer.

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