Dr. Deb­orah Prothrow-​​Stith, Pro­fessor and Asso­ciate Dean at Har­vard School of Public Health, to Keynote After­noon Ceremony

Nicholas P. Negro­ponte, co-​​founder of the MIT Media Lab­o­ra­tory and cre­ator of One Laptop per Child (OLPC), will deliver the com­mence­ment address to approx­i­mately 2,200 North­eastern Uni­ver­sity under­grad­uate stu­dents on Sat­urday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in Boston’s TD Ban­knorth Garden. Approx­i­mately 15,000 people are expected to attend.

Mr. Negro­ponte, who will receive an hon­orary doc­torate of public ser­vice, helped create MIT’s Media Lab­o­ra­tory in 1980. The Lab­o­ra­tory facil­i­tates the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary study and appli­ca­tion of dig­ital tech­nolo­gies, with the goal of changing how people think and communicate.

His non-​​profit, One Laptop per Child – which he devel­oped at MIT – pro­duces and dis­trib­utes low-​​cost, self-​​charging laptop com­puters to chil­dren in devel­oping and impov­er­ished nations who have min­imal access to modern edu­ca­tion and infrastructure.

Negro­ponte wrote the best-​​selling book, “Being Dig­ital,” and has pro­vided start-​​up funding for more than 40 com­pa­nies, including Wired mag­a­zine. He also serves on sev­eral cor­po­rate boards, including Motorola and Ambient Devices. Negro­ponte received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in archi­tec­ture from MIT, and joined the Institute’s fac­ulty in 1966.

Addi­tional hon­orary degree recip­i­ents at the morning cer­e­mony will be engi­neering inno­vator and phil­an­thropist Bernard M. Gordon, founder and chairman of Ana­logic Cor­po­ra­tion, who will receive a doc­torate of sci­ence, and Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago Chan­cellor Dr. Sylvia Man­ning, who will receive a doc­torate of humane letters.

Gordon, who was awarded the National Medal of Tech­nology in 1986, also co-​​founded Neu­ro­Logica Cor­po­ra­tion, a designer and man­u­fac­turer of neu­ro­log­ical imaging equip­ment founded on the prin­ciple that all people should have access to high-​​quality med­ical imaging. Northeastern’s Bernard M. Gordon Center for Sub­sur­face Sensing and Imaging Sys­tems was named after him.

Dr. Man­ning, who heads Chicago’s largest uni­ver­sity, has placed great focus on embracing her institution’s urban sur­round­ings, with hun­dreds of pro­grams that engage civic, com­mu­nity, cor­po­rate, gov­ern­ment, and foun­da­tion part­ners to enhance the quality of urban life in Chicago.

Fol­lowing the morning cer­e­mony, an after­noon com­mence­ment cer­e­mony for approx­i­mately 900 grad­uate stu­dents and adult learners will take place at 3:15 p.m. in Matthews Arena. The speaker will be Dr. Deb­orah Prothrow-​​Stith, Pro­fessor of Public Health Prac­tice and Asso­ciate Dean for Fac­ulty Devel­op­ment at the Har­vard School of Public Health.

Dr. Prothrow-​​Stith is nation­ally rec­og­nized for her research on vio­lence pre­ven­tion. As Mass­a­chu­setts’ first female public health com­mis­sioner, she estab­lished the first Office of Vio­lence Pre­ven­tion in a statewide depart­ment of public health. During her tenure, she also expanded pro­grams for HIV and AIDS pre­ven­tion, as well as drug treat­ment and rehabilitation.

Hon­orary degree recip­i­ents at the after­noon cer­e­mony will include phil­an­thropist and chem­ical engi­neering leader George J. Kostas, founder of Techno-​​Economic Ser­vices, Inc., who will receive a doc­torate of sci­ence, and North­eastern trustee George W. Chamil­lard, former CEO and chairman of Ter­a­dyne, Inc., who will receive a doc­torate of busi­ness administration.

Kostas, a North­eastern grad­uate, spear­headed the cre­ation of “Xen­o­clad,” a rev­o­lu­tionary thermo-​​chemical process – based on his own patents – in which alu­minum is plated in atomic form on metal sub­strates, ren­dering them resis­tant to cor­ro­sion. The University’s George J. Kostas Nanoscale Tech­nology and Man­u­fac­turing Research Center was named after him.

Chamil­lard, also a North­eastern grad­uate, played a key role in Teradyne’s suc­cess for almost 40 years, having joined the com­pany as an engi­neer in 1969, taking on the role of pres­i­dent and chief oper­ating officer in 1996, chief exec­u­tive officer in 1997, and chairman in 2000.

Please Note: Reporters should take the east entrance to the floor of the TD Ban­knorth Garden, and will have to go through secu­rity and show their cre­den­tials and ID. Media passes/​badges will not be required once through secu­rity. A press table will be located to the right of the stage.

About North­eastern: Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.