MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Eric Greitens, humanitarian, award-winning author, and decorated Navy SEAL officer, will deliver Tufts University's commencement address on Sunday, May 20, 2012, and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
Greitens, a former Rhodes and Truman Scholar, was a Navy SEAL officer deployed four times to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia. His assignments included serving as the commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Unit, commander of a Mark V Special Operations Craft Detachment and as commander of an al Qaeda Targeting Cell. After returning from Iraq, Greitens donated his combat pay to found The Mission Continues, a national non-profit organization that challenges veterans to serve and lead in communities across America through six-month fellowships at community non-profit organizations. He is also an award-winning author; his book of photographs and essays, Strength and Compassion, grew from his humanitarian work as a volunteer, documentary photographer and researcher in Albania, Bolivia, Cambodia, Croatia, the Gaza Strip, India, Mexico and Rwanda. His second book, The Heart & the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL, released in May 2011, became a New York Times best seller.
WHEN: 9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 20, 2012 (Media should arrive no later than 8:45 a.m.)
WHERE: The Green (academic quad) on Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus
WHO: Faculty in full academic regalia; some 3,000 graduates from Tufts' undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools; parents and friends. In addition to Greitens, honorary degree recipients include:
o Lawrence S. Bacow, president emeritus of Tufts University; president-in-residence in the higher education program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education; innovator in education recognized for advocating broad-based access to higher education, need-based financial aid, and increased civic engagement among universities world-wide; honorary doctorate of humane letters;
o Bonnie Bassler, Squibb Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University; her discoveries about quorum sensing, the process by which single-cell bacteria communicate with each other, launched a revolution in biological and medical research; honorary doctorate of science;
o Cecilia Ibeabuchi, nurse manager of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program clinic at St. Francis House, which provides the poor and homeless with vital services to enable them to reclaim their dignity and rebuild their lives; tireless worker on behalf of some of Boston’s most vulnerable citizens; honorary doctorate of public service;
o Farooq Kathwari, chairman, president and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc.; a director and former chair of Refugees International; member of the Council on Foreign Relations; his leadership on behalf of global peace and intercultural understanding has been recognized by the U.S. government’s Outstanding American by Choice award, among other honors; honorary doctorate of public service.
In addition, on Saturday, May 19, Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, will address graduates of The Fletcher School during their annual Class Day ceremonies.