David Muir, the Emmy award-winning anchor of ABC World News Tonight, will deliver Northeastern University’s 113th Commencement address on May 8, 2015. Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, announced the news Sunday night on Twitter.
Muir will also receive an honorary degree during the morning undergraduate Commencement exercises at TD Garden, which will include 20,000 students, family members, friends, and university leaders.
The other honorary degree recipients at the 2015 undergraduate Commencement exercises will be Lawrence S. Bacow, president emeritus of Tufts University; Vanessa Kerry, co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health; and Gabriel Jaramillo, former chairman, president, and CEO at Santander Holdings USA.
The Commencement speaker for the afternoon graduate ceremony at Matthews Arena is Wayne Clough, secretary emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution and president emeritus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He will also receive an honorary degree.
And Maura Healey, L’98, will deliver the Commencement address at the School of Law ceremony on Friday, May 22, at Matthews Arena.
“These distinguished individuals each have had a formidable impact on their fields, and on society,” said President Aoun. “Their accomplishments span intrepid journalism, bold efforts to combat disease, the fight to extend justice to all citizens, and visionary leadership in education and healthcare. Our honorees are tremendous role models for our graduating students, representing what it means to be global citizens who are actively engaged in transforming the world.”
Muir became the managing editor and anchor of ABC World News Tonight in September, succeeding Diane Sawyer. Last week it was announced ABC World News Tonight is now the most-watched evening news program in the U.S.
Prior to taking the anchor chair, Muir was the ABC World News Tonight weekend anchor. Before joining ABC News he was a news anchor and correspondent for WCVB-TV in Boston.
Muir has covered many high-profile events throughout his distinguished career. Since becoming anchor of ABC’s flagship evening newscast, he has already anchored the program from Havana, Cuba, following his exclusive interview with President Barack Obama on the United States’ historic move to reset relations with Cuba. He reported from the Syrian border on child refugees working in Lebanon during his first week on the air.
Muir has also reported from the Superdome as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Fukushima, Japan after the tsunami and nuclear accident, Somalia during the 2010-12 famine, Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution, and Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake.
He was part of the ABC News team that won an Emmy in 2009 for its coverage of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. He also helped WCVB-TV earn the Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting and Associated Press honors for his work tracing the path of the 9/11 hijackers.
Bacow served as president of Tufts University from 2001 to 2011, during which time he advanced the university as a leading institution in teaching, research, and public service, placing a priority on open communication between himself and the university community. He became well known as an advocate for broader access to need-based financial aid in higher education and played a significant role in the importance of universities’ commitment to civic engagement.
Kerry, a critical care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, co-founded the nonprofit Seed Global Health in 2011 after working in resource-limited settings and witnessing health inequalities around the world due to shortages of healthcare professionals. Her innovative and dedicated leadership in global health is strengthening heathcare systems and helping to provide ample care in areas with limited resources around the world.
Jaramillo served 20 years as CEO of Santander Holdings USA and has extensive experience managing change in large, complex financial institutions. He also served as general manager of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, handling the management responsibilities of the Global Fund Secretariat. From 2010 to 2012, Jaramillo served as a special adviser to the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for malaria. He helped to push an initiative to provide key fund interventions to nations plagued with the malaria endemic with a goal of ending all deaths by malaria by 2015.
Clough was the 12th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, serving from 2008 to 2014. During his tenure the museum raised more than $1 billion in philanthropic gifts and created numerous endowed positions. He also spearheaded more than $1 billion in renovations and new construction for six museum exhibits. From 1994 to 2008, he was Georgia Institute of Technology’s 10th president, the university’s first alumnus to hold the position. As president he guided Georgia Tech’s rise into the top 10 among public universities nationally, and during his tenure the university’s external research funding more than doubled from $200 million to $425 million.
Healey was elected Attorney General of Massachusetts in November. She joined the Attorney General’s office in 2007 as chief of the civil rights division. There, she successfully challenged the Defense of Marriage Act and helped homeowners who were victims of the mortgage crisis.