Skip to main content

This website is no longer being updated. Visit Dartmouth Now for all news published after June 7, 2010.

Dartmouth News
>  News Releases >   2004 >   May

Jeffrey R. Immelt to give Dartmouth Commencement address on Sunday, June 13

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 05/04/04 • Contact Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

Jeffrey R. Immelt
Jeffrey R. Immelt

Listen to Dartmouth commencement live online:

Jeffrey R. Immelt, a 1978 graduate of Dartmouth who is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric Company, will deliver the main address at Dartmouth College's 2004 Commencement exercises on Sunday, June 13, on the Dartmouth Green. Immelt is also one of nine individuals who will receive honorary degrees at the event.

The academic procession to the Green begins at 9:30 a.m., and visitors are advised to be in their seats by that time. Commencement ceremonies begin at 10 a.m.

Other speakers for the event will include Dartmouth President James Wright and the valedictorian of the undergraduate senior class, who is announced the week of commencement, after final grades are calculated.

The College expects to award approximately 1,000 bachelor's degrees and approximately 500 master's and doctoral degrees in the Arts and Sciences and from the College's three professional schools: Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business.

At commencement, Dartmouth will confer honorary degrees on:

  • Rebecca L. Adamson (Doctor of Humane Letters), Founder and President of First Nations Development Institute, and Founder of First Peoples Worldwide. Adamson has been an advocate for indigenous peoples worldwide since 1970. Her work has helped establish the field of culturally appropriate, values-driven development.
  • Margaret Atwood (Doctor of Letters), writer. Atwood is acclaimed for her talent in portraying both personal and worldly problems of universal concern. She won the prestigious Booker Prize for her 2000 novel The Blind Assassin. Her novels also include The Handmaid's Tale and her latest, Oryx and Crake.
  • Lo-Yi Chan (Doctor of Arts), a 1954 graduate of Dartmouth who is an architect specializing in campus planning. Chan has completed numerous projects worldwide that have garnered national and international awards and accolades, including the Sackler Museum at Peking University, the Sever Hall restoration at Harvard University and the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth.
  • Philippe de Montebello (Doctor of Arts), Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for more than 25 years (the longest tenure for any director in the organization's history). Under de Montebello's leadership, the museum has constantly reinforced and augmented its stature as one of the world's great resources for preservation, appreciation and encouragement of art.
  • Dr. Norman C. Francis (Doctor of Laws), President of Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans), the only historically black and Catholic university in the U.S. Francis became the first African American lay president of the university when he was appointed to the position in 1968. He has provided leadership for civil rights, educational, civic and religious organizations throughout his career.
  • Jeffrey R. Immelt (Doctor of Laws), a 1978 graduate of Dartmouth who is Chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE). Immelt is a global business leader often recognized for successfully navigating his company through the turbulent and changing corporate environment of the last three years. The Financial Times named Immelt its "Man of the Year" in 2003 and wrote, "Mr. Immelt represents a different style of leadership. His careful remodeling of his own company is leading a wider reassertion of the primacy of shareholders and customers."
  • Richard M. Page (Doctor of Laws), a 1954 graduate of Dartmouth who before retiring became a leader in the fields of insurance brokerage and financial services and has long been active in support of civic and academic endeavors. A former Dartmouth trustee, he is a current trustee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic.
  • Janet D. Rowley, M.D. (Doctor of Science), a leading cancer researcher and Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Medicine, in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and in Human Genetics at the University of Chicago who has contributed significantly to advances in understanding of genetic changes in cancer. Her work is commonly credited with revolutionizing the view of scientists regarding the importance of chromosomal defects in cancer cells, and she continues her investigations in this field.
  • Alice Waters (Doctor of Arts), Founder of Chez Panisse Foundation. Waters is an advocate for sound, sustainable agriculture as well as an innovative restaurateur and cookbook author. Her San Francisco restaurant Chez Panisse has for 25 years served as a showcase for her philosophy. She also founded the Edible Schoolyard, a middle-school garden and kitchen classroom in Berkeley that shows students the relationship of food to life and teaches them respect for one another and for the planet.

Saturday, June 12

Speakers for Dartmouth professional schools'
Class Day and Investiture ceremonies;
and for Baccalaureate Service

A variety of ceremonies take place the day before Commencement, including Class Day and Investiture ceremonies for Dartmouth's three professional schools, and Baccalaureate, a multi-faith religious service open to all graduates and their guests. Those events and their speakers are:

  • Dartmouth Medical School: Dr. Judah Folkman, the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School. 9 a.m., Derzon Courtyard (front lawn) at DMS. (In case of rain, Leede Arena, 11:30 a.m.)
  • Thayer School of Engineering: Dr. Rita R. Colwell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Chairman of Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc. 10 a.m., Cook Auditorium, Murdough Center.
  • Tuck School of Business: Donald K. Peterson, Chairman and CEO of Avaya Inc., a 1973 graduate of the Tuck School and a member of the Tuck Board of Overseers. 3 p.m., Tuck Circle. (In case of rain, Leede Arena, same time.)
  • Baccalaureate: Diana L. Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Harvard Divinity School. 3 p.m., Rollins Chapel. (Remote viewing in 105 Dartmouth Hall.)

Reporters and Editors

To get further biographical background on Jeffrey Immelt and Dartmouth's other honorary degree recipients by fax or e-mail, call 603-646-3661 or send an e-mail .

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

Recent Headlines from Dartmouth News: