Caps n’ Gowns: Baltimore Graduations Bring Distinguished Speakers to Region

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A 2014 graduation ceremony at the University of Maryland. Photo by Jay Baker, via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s that time of year again. Thousands of Baltimore-area students will earn their degrees over the next month, capping their tenures studying at some of Charm City’s best colleges and high schools. Joining the newly minted graduates at their ceremonies will be some illustrious company, including a vice president, a librarian of Congress, acclaimed journalists, medical experts and successful entrepreneurs, among others.

Here’s our guide to this year’s ceremonies, in chronological order:

MICA

  • When: Monday, May 15, starting at 1 p.m. for undergraduates and at 5 p.m. for grad school
  • Where: Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: Artist Hank Willis Thomas for undergraduates and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for grad school. (Retired Sen. Barb Mikulski, MICA trustee Neil Meyerhoff and artist Lily Yeh also receiving honorary degrees)

Morgan State University

  • When: Grad schools on Thursday, May 18, starting at 9:30 a.m; undergraduates on Saturday, May 20, starting at 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Graduate ceremony at Murphy Fine Arts Center, undergraduate ceremony at Hughes Memorial Stadium
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: Former Vice President Joe Biden, journalist April Ryan (journalist) and philanthropists C. Sylvia Brown and Sheldon Goldseker

Goucher College

  • When: Friday, May 19, starting at 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Margaret M. Winslow Great Lawn on the Goucher College campus
  • Keynote Speaker/Honorary Degree: Leon Botstein, conductor, music historian and president of Bard College (no honorary degree)

University of Maryland-Baltimore

  • When: Friday, May 19, starting at 2 p.m.
  • Where: Royal Farms Arena
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: Surgeon and Operation Smile CEO William P. Magee, Jr., Baltimore City Circuit Court Associate Judge Ellen M. Heller, UMD Law student Faiza Hasan (not receiving honorary degree), School of Medicine epidemiology professor Patricia Langenberg, Orioles owner Peter Angelos, cardiologist and School of Medicine professor Gary Plotnick and physical therapist Leslie Glickman

Coppin State University

  • When: Saturday, May 20, starting at 10 a.m.
  • Where: Coppin State’s Physical Education Complex arena.
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: TBA

Loyola University Maryland

  • When: Saturday, May 20, starting at 11 a.m.
  • Where: Royal Farms Arena
  • Keynote Speaker/Honorary Degree: Jesuit priest and bestselling author Rev. James Martin

Notre Dame of Maryland University

  • When: Saturday, May 20, starting at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Royal Farms Arena
  • Keynote Speaker/Honorary Degree: Nancy Birdsall, senior fellow and president emeritus of the nonprofit Center for Global Development (no honorary degree)

University of Maryland-College Park

  • When: Sunday, May 21, starting at 1 p.m.
  • Where: Xfinity Center on the University of Maryland campus
  • Keynote Speaker: Apex Entertainment founder and CEO Mark Ciardi, a 1983 University of Maryland graduate

Towson University

  • When: Wednesday, May 24, starting at 10 a.m.
  • Where: SECU Arena
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: Scott Burger, president of the Americas for PANDORA

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

  • When: Grad school on Wednesday, May 24, starting at 10 a.m.; undergraduates on Thursday, May 25, starting at 10 a.m.
  • Where: Grad school at Retriever Activities Center on the UMBC campus, undergraduates at Royal Farms Arena
  • Keynote Speaker/Honorary Degree: Stephanie Cole Hill, a 1986 UMBC graduate

University of Baltimore

  • When: Wednesday, May 24, starting at 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: The Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: Grad school speaker is Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop; Undergraduate speaker is Mayor Catherine Pugh (no honorary degree)

Johns Hopkins University

  • When: Wednesday, May 24, starting at 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Royal Farms Arena
  • Keynote Speakers/Honorary Degrees: New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, retired NASA mathematician and physicist (and “Hidden Figures” inspiration) Katherine Johnson, former energy firm CEO-turned-philanthropist Ralph S. O’Connor and Nobel Prize laureate and former National Cancer Institute Director Harold E. Varmus

Friends School of Baltimore

  • When: Tuesday, June 13, starting at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Friends School of Baltimore lawn
  • Keynote Speaker: Mandalay Pictures executive vice president Jason Michael Berman, a 2002 Friends School graduate

If we missed your school, send us an email at [email protected].

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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