Claude M. Steele to Deliver Address at Tufts' 157th Commencement May 19

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Claude M. Steele, whose research revolutionized our understanding of how stereotypes influence group performance from academics to athletics, will deliver Tufts University's commencement address on Sunday, May 19, 2013, and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Steele is the I. James Quillen Dean of the School of Education at Stanford University. Previously, he served as the provost of Columbia University, as well as a professor of psychology. Over two decades, Steele has researched and written about how negative stereotypes have influenced academic, professional and personal performance and helped develop strategies for overcoming the damaging behavioral effects of such stereotypes.

WHEN: 9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 19, 2013 (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 Steele, honorary degree recipients include:

o    Lois Gibbs, environmental activist who raised awareness of Love Canal; founder and executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, which assists grassroots educational efforts about toxic chemicals and children's unique vulnerability to environmental exposures; nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003; honorary doctorate of public service;

o    Philip Lampi, historian, driving force behind the New Nation Votes Project, the most significant database of early American voting records in existence, which is sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society, Tufts University and the National Endowment for the Humanities; honorary doctorate of humane letters;

o    Raymond R. Sackler, psychiatrist, entrepreneur and international philanthropist; his support has funded theoretical and applied research in mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry and biomedicine at numerous institutions worldwide; with brothers Arthur and Mortimer Sackler, he endowed Tufts University's Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences; honorary doctorate of humane letters (Note: Raymond R. Sackler will receive his honorary degree at a later date; he will not be present at commencement);

o    Ram Shrestha, nutritionist whose grassroots initiative to empower 50,000 women community health volunteers to distribute vitamin A capsules in his native Nepal helped halve the infant mortality rate there and significantly reduced night blindness in children and pregnant women; graduate of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts; named a global health hero by Time magazine in 2005; honorary doctorate of science;

o    Aso Tavitian, philanthropist and business leader, co-founder and former CEO of Syncsort, a privately held global technology company;  philanthropic initiatives include the Tavitian Foundation, the Tavitian Library at the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Armenian Program at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, which trains Armenian diplomats and government officials;  honorary doctorate of public service.

In addition, on Saturday, May 18, Stephen Bosworth, dean of the Fletcher School and former ambassador to the Republic of Korea, will address Fletcher graduates during their Class Day ceremonies. This summer Bosworth will step down as dean of the school after 12 years.

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