Duke to Award More Than 5,000 Degrees During Sunday's Commencement

Philanthropist and alumna Melinda Gates will deliver the keynote address

Duke University will award more than 5,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees during its annual commencement ceremony Sunday, May 12, in Wallace Wade Stadium.

Duke President Richard H. Brodhead will preside over the 10 a.m. ceremony and philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will deliver the commencement address. The event is open to the public.

The event will be webcast live on Duke's Ustream channel -- www.ustream.tv/DukeUniversity. Twitter users can follow commencement and contribute to the discussion using the Twitter hashtag #Duke2013.

The student speaker at commencement is Andrew Barnhill, a master's degree candidate at Duke Divinity School with a focus on American law. Barnhill, a native of Wilmington, N.C., is chair of the Young Democrats of North Carolina for the state's 7th Congressional District.  

Gates, T'86 and MBA'87, also will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony. Other honorary degree recipients are human rights activist Marguerite "Maggy" Barankitse; immune system scientist Dr. Max Cooper; archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero; Harvard professor of African-American history and literature Henry Louis Gates; investment manager William H. (Bill) Gross; and choreographer Judith Jameson.

Aside from Sunday's commencement ceremony, Duke's graduation weekend May 10-12 will be filled with special events held by individual schools, departments and programs to recognize the 2013 graduates.

About 14,000 people are expected to visit the campus to attend the main commencement exercise and other ceremonies, according to Duke's Office of Special Events and University Ceremonies, which oversees graduation weekend planning.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the economic impact of graduation weekend on Durham -- through sales of food, hotel rooms, retail items, gasoline, car rentals and entertainment -- will be about $6.1 million, said Shelly Green, CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Duke's graduation weekend has always been an important event for Durham," Green said. "The thousands of parents, friends and family members who attend leave a substantial economic impact on the community. Not only do the businesses and merchants reap the benefit, but local government does as well. Almost $300,000 in taxes collected will go to the City and County of Durham." 

The bureau's website has a regularly updated "lodging hotline" -- http://www.dcvb-nc.com/LHL/2013_Graduation.pdf -- that allows visitors to see which hotels have available rooms during graduation weekend.

On Duke's campus, additional police officers and event staff will assist with traffic and parking. Free parking will be provided throughout campus on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly all campus lots, including gated facilities, will be open, but some of the lots on the east side of Wallace Wade Stadium will be restricted. Parking is recommended in the lot on Frank Bassett Drive off Science Drive; the Science Drive visitors lot between Highway 751 and Towerview Drive; the lot at the corner of 751 and Science Drive; the Blue Zone lots on the east side of the stadium off Duke University Road; the parking garage on Science Drive near the Bryan Center; and the Chemistry and Circuit Drive lots, both accessible from Circuit Drive.

On Sunday, Duke Transportation will provide shuttle buses to Wallace Wade from area hotels, including the Millennium, the Durham Marriott at the Civic Center, the Courtyard (Comfort Inn guests can walk across the street to take the shuttle) and the Hilton (Quality Inn guests can walk across the parking lot to the shuttle). The shuttle service will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday and run every 20 minutes until 4 p.m.

The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club has its own shuttle service beginning at 7 a.m. It will run until 1 p.m.

There will be accessible transportation from the lots adjacent to Wallace Wade for guests using wheelchairs and their families. Golf carts are available for transport from the parking lots to the entrances of Wallace Wade for those with mobility concerns.

There also will be campus bus service beginning at 8 a.m.

Speakers at other ceremonies include:

-- At 6 p.m. Friday, Paul Sweeney, senior analyst and North American head of Bloomberg Industries, will speak to The Fuqua School of Business' Master of Management Studies: Foundations of Business class, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The ceremony is not open to the public, but will be webcast live on Fuqua's YouTube channel.

-- At 9 a.m. Saturday, Sheikh Mohamed Althani, Qatar's former minister for economy and commerce, will address graduates of The Duke MBA -- Cross Continent and Weekend Executive programs, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The ceremony is not open to the public, but will be broadcast on Fuqua's YouTube channel.

-- At 9 a.m. Saturday, David Yarnold, chief executive officer and president of the National Audubon Society, will give the address at the Nicholas School of the Environment's Recognition Ceremony, on the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC) lawn. The ceremony is not open to the public.

-- At 10 a.m. Saturday, Duke alumna Mwila Chigaga, senior regional gender specialist for the International Labor Organization, will offer remarks at the Sanford School of Public Policy graduate student ceremony in Wilson Gym. The ceremony is not open to the public.

-- At 1 p.m. Saturday, Gerald Hassell, chair and chief executive officer of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and a Duke trustee, will offer remarks to graduates of The Duke MBA -- Daytime and Ph.D. programs, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The ceremony is not open to the public, but will be broadcast on Fuqua's YouTube channel.

-- At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Donald Verrilli Jr., the U.S. solicitor general, will address graduates at the Law School's hooding ceremony, in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The ceremony is not open to the public. It will be broadcast live on Duke's Ustream channel.

-- At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, J. Warren Smith, an associate professor of historical theology at Duke Divinity School, will deliver the 87th baccalaureate service to Divinity School graduates, in Duke Chapel. The service is open to the public and will be webcast live on the Duke Chapel YouTube channel

Degrees to be conferred:

Degrees will be awarded to about 1,641 undergraduates and 2,215 graduate and professional students who are graduating this spring. An additional 1,212 students who graduated in September or December 2012 are also invited to participate in Sunday's commencement. The estimated degree breakdowns for the May graduates are as follows:

Undergraduate degrees:

-- Trinity College of Arts and Sciences -- A.B. 775; B.S. 509;

-- Pratt School of Engineering -- B.S.E. 290;

-- Nursing -- B.S.N. 67.

Graduate and Professional degrees:

-- Duke Divinity School -- M.Div. 133; Th.M. 6; M.T.S. 17; M.A.C.S. 8; Th.D. 1;

-- Fuqua School of Business -- M.B.A. 430; M.M.S. 107; 

-- Graduate School -- M.A. 115; M.S. 122; M.A.T. 1; M.F.A. 15; Ph.D. 182;

-- School of Law -- J.D. 241; LL.M. 120; LL.M.L.E. 12; S.J.D. 1;

-- Nicholas School of the Environment -- M.E.M. 164; M.F. 2;

-- Pratt School of Engineering -- M.Eng.M. 61; M.Eng. 15;

-- Sanford School of Public Policy -- M.I.D.P. 27; M.P.P. 57; 

-- School of Medicine -- M.D. 106; M.H.S. 85; M.H.S.-CR 21; M.H.S.-CL 5; D.P.T. 59; M.B.S.T. 13;

-- School of Nursing -- M.S.N. 54; D.N.P. 35.

For more information on Duke's commencement weekend, visit web.duke.edu/commencement.