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Nicholas P. Negroponte To Keynote Northeastern University’s 105th Commencement

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

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