Northeastern University announces speakers for college and school ceremonies and celebrations

2020 commencement ceremony inside matthews arena
Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s 2023 commencement exercises will take place at Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday, May 7.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister, will be the speaker at the graduate ceremony at 10 a.m., while Mariam Naficy, a serial entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer, will be the undergraduate speaker at 4 p.m.

Commencement ceremonies are also taking place across Northeastern’s global campus network.

Meanwhile, the university’s many schools and colleges will hold their own celebrations and ceremonies. Most of those will be held inside Matthews Arena on the Boston campus.

Here are the dates, times, locations and speakers for those events:

Doctor of Philosophy Hooding and Graduation

Monday, May 1, 1 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Drew Conway, managing director and head of data science for Two Sigma, a New York-based financial services company. An entrepreneur, author and speaker, he leads the research and development of tools designed to support Two Sigma’s private investment businesses, including venture capital, private equity and real estate.

D’Amore-McKim School of Business: Graduate

Tuesday, May 2, 4 p.m., Cabot Center

Bouvé College of Health Sciences: Doctorate

Wednesday, May 3, 10 a.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: George D. Behrakis, a Northeastern graduate, honorary degree recipient, trustee vice-chair emeritus and retired research pharmaceutical scientist. Also an entrepreneur and philanthropist, his donation to the university in 2000 funded the construction of the Behrakis Health Sciences Center. After working for Johnson and Johnson, Behrakis founded Dooner Laboratories and owned and operated Muro Pharmaceuticals.

Bouvé College of Health Sciences: Undergraduate and Graduate

Wednesday, May 3, 2:30 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Angela Wayne, chief executive officer of Advantia Health, a company focused on health care for women. She was previously the chief operating officer at APDerm, a leading network of dermatology practices. Prior to that, she led the development of the primary care network for Beth Israel Lahey Health.

College of Science: Undergraduate and Graduate

Thursday, May 4, 9 a.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Kevin Taylor, CFO and interim CEO of Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America. An experienced nonprofit leader, he is dedicated to advancing Greentown’s mission for climate impact. Taylor joined Greentown in 2022 from the nonprofit sector, having spent a decade as a leader in the education reform movement.

D’Amore-McKim School of Business: Undergraduate

Thursday, May 4, 2 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speakers: Diane Hessan, founder and chairman of C Space, formerly Communispace, one of the first companies to use social media to help major brands get insight from their consumers. She recently started a new company, Salient Ventures, which helps accelerate the next generation of tech startups.

Betty Francisco, CEO of Boston Impact Initiative, which promotes entrepreneurs of color. She received her MBA and law degrees from Northeastern. She’s also co-founder of Amplify Latinx, and serves on the boards of Beth Israel Lahey Health, Boston Foundation and Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

Bouvé College of Health Sciences: Nursing Pinning

Thursday, May 4, 4 p.m., Blackman Auditorium 

Speaker: Tracy K. Gosselin, senior vice president, chief nurse executive and chair of nursing at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. A 1993 Northeastern graduate, she spent 28 years at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, including the last five years as chief nursing and patient care services officer.

College of Engineering: Graduate 1

Thursday, May 4, 7 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: C.A. Webb, a member of the Boston Biotech Working Group, a collection of academics, investors and advocates working to change the ratio of women faculty starting new biotech companies. She’s also on the boards of Eastern Bank, The Boston Foundation and MassRobotics.

College of Engineering: Undergraduate

Friday, May 5, 9 a.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Greg Waters, co-founder and CEO of MatrixSpace, a tech startup headquartered at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts. A Northeastern graduate, he was previously president and CEO of Integrated Device Technology, a leader in semiconductor and sensor solutions in automotive, data center and industrial segments. 

College of Engineering: Graduate 2

Friday, May 5, 1:30 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: C.A. Webb, a member of the Boston Biotech Working Group

College of Social Sciences and Humanities: Undergraduate and Graduate

Friday, May 5, 6:30 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Jodi Rosenbaum, founder and executive director of More Than Words, a nonprofit bookstore and job training program for children and young adults in foster care. Under Rosenbaum’s direction, they work as a team to manage their own bookstore, cafe and community space, while developing leadership, employment skills and self-confidence.

Khoury College of Computer Sciences: Graduate

Saturday, May 6, 9 a.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Mani Sundaram, executive vice president and general manager of Akamai Technologies, a content delivery network, cybersecurity and cloud services company. A Northeastern graduate, he oversees strategy and product direction for the company’s security solutions. He previously served as Akamai’s chief information officer.

Khoury College of Computer Sciences: Undergraduate

Saturday, May 6, 1 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Rich Miner, co-founder of Android, who has worked as an executive at Google since it acquired the popular mobile operating system in 2005. Miner also co-founded Wildfire Communications, a voice communications startup that was sold in Orange in 2000. At Google, Miner has also helped create and grow the company’s venture fund.

College of Arts, Media, and Design: Undergraduate and Graduate

Saturday, May 6, 5 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: John Simons is a partner at the Brunswick Group, a global advisory firm focused on strategic issues and key stakeholders. He joined Brunswick from TIME where he was executive editor, responsible for national, business and technology coverage. He previously spent several years at The Wall Street Journal as deputy health and science editor.

College of Professional Studies: Bachelor’s and Master’s

Wednesday, May 10, 10 a.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Tony Gomes is the chief legal and administrative officer for Cloud Software Group, responsible for the legal, security, human resources and corporate marketing functions. He leads a global, multidisciplinary team of trusted advisors working in partnership with all segments of the enterprise to advance the company’s objectives and manage risk. He was previously executive vice president and chief legal officer at Citrix Systems.

College of Professional Studies: Doctoral Hooding and Graduation

Thursday, May 11, 10 a.m., Matthews Arena

School of Law

Friday, May 12, 2 p.m., Matthews Arena

Speaker: Corey Thomas, chairman and CEO of Rapid 7, a Boston-based cybersecurity company. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and class-C director and deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Prior to joining Rapid7, he spent time at Parallels Inc., Microsoft, Deloitte Consulting and AT&T. 

David Nordman is executive editor of Northeastern Global News. Follow him on Twitter @davenordman.