Commencement 2017 : Three honorary doctorates, six Medals of Excellence and two distinguished alumni

Commencement 2017 : Three honorary doctorates, six Medals of Excellence and two distinguished alumni


Commencement 2017, May 9-12, will include nine ceremonies and approximately 3,000 student participants. Weather permitting, all main ceremonies will be held on University Green on Rowan’s main Glassboro campus.

While most of the excitement will be for our graduates, some will be saved for the bestowing of three honorary doctoral degrees, six Medals of Excellence and the anointing of two Distinguished Alumni.

The University’s 2017 honorary degree recipients are:

Keynote speaker for the William G. Rohrer College of Business, David L. Cohen is senior executive vice president, chief diversity officer and senior counselor to the CEO for Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Keynote speaker for the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, Barbara Ann Kushner is president and CEO of Armand Corporation, an engineering, technology and construction management company. A former member of the Rowan University Board of Trustees, Kushner is a longtime supporter of the Rowan University Foundation. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.

Keynote speaker for the College of Science and Mathematics, Dr. Shirley Malcom heads Education and Human Resources Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. She’s an internationally recognized leader in efforts to improve access of girls and women to education and careers in science and engineering. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Medal of Excellence recipients:

Rowan awards Medals of Excellence to recognize individuals in one of three categories: distinguished service to the University or community, research and alumni achievement. For 2017, Medals of Excellence will be awarded to:

Tom Stathakes, keynote speaker during the combined ceremony for the College of Communication & Creative Arts and the College of Performing Arts, is senior vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and CSN California.

Dr. Adrienne Kirby, keynote speaker for the School of Health Professions, is president and CEO of Cooper University Health Care where she’s responsible for all hospital and ambulatory operations and oversees the physician group and various institutes that provide specialized patient care.

Dr. Boyd Buser, keynote speaker for the School of Osteopathic Medicine, is the 120th president of the American Osteopathic Association, a board-certified physician in osteopathic manipulative medicine and family medicine who is also vice president for health affairs and dean of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Robert Laskowski, keynote speaker for Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, is a well-known educator, consultant, writer and retired physician executive who serves as principal of Laskowski Advisors.

Jerry Maginnis is Accounting Executive in Residence in Rowan’s William G. Rohrer College of Business. He is a retired managing partner of the Philadelphia office of KPMG, an international professional services company recognized as one of the “Big Four” accounting and audit firms.

Rowan University’s distinguished alumni for 2017 are Dr. Michael Apple ’67 and Dr. Linda Boyd ’84.

Dr. Apple is the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He also holds Distinguished Professor appointments at the University of Manchester in England and Northeast Normal University in China.

Dr. Boyd is a nationally known expert in medical education, empathy and burnout in medicine, and women’s health issues. After graduating from Rowan’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1984 she held leadership positions at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, the Medical College of Georgia and several national medical education committees. She returned to RowanSOM in 2013 as a professor and senior associate dean for Academic Affairs.