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commencement 2024

Here are the speakers for Pitt’s graduate school commencement ceremonies

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This story will be updated as speaker details for some schools are finalized.

Graduate and professional schools at the University of Pittsburgh will hold ceremonies to recognize their graduates throughout April and May. Find information on participating in the festivities, guest tickets and regalia.

Here are this year’s celebrations, listed in chronological order.

Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

When: 11 a.m., Thursday, April 25
Where: Fitzgerald Field House
Speaker: Adrienne Washington (A&S ’10G, ’16G) is an assistant professor in the Department of World Languages, Literature and Linguistics at West Virginia University. Her sociocultural linguistics research explores the social use of language among intersectional communities of the African diaspora in various locations.

School of Pharmacy

When: 10:30 a.m., Friday, April 26
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum
Speaker: The graduating student speakers at this ceremony will include Abigail Stewart (PHARM ’22), class of 2024 president, and Yuang Chen (A&S ’17, PHARM ’23). 

School of Nursing

When: 11 a.m., Friday, April 26
Where: Carnegie Music Hall
Speaker: Professor Catherine M. Bender (NURS ’79G, ’94G) is a leader in oncology research with two focus areas covering the changes in neurocognitive function associated with cancer and cancer therapy; and disease and treatment-related symptoms and how symptoms and other factor influence adherence to cancer therapy. Throughout her career she has received millions of dollars in research funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Oncology Nursing Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Swanson School of Engineering

When: noon, Friday, April 26
Where: Bellefield Hall Auditorium
Speaker: Raman Venkatesh is the first chief sustainability officer for Medtronic, a medical device company. Before this appointment, Venkatesh served as an advisor to several venture capital funds in healthcare, energy and mobility and was executive vice president of Aquaporin, a company focused on improving water treatment and use.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

When: 3:30 p.m., Friday, April 26
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum

Visit the GSPIA commencement page to RSVP for the event and learn more.

School of Public Health

When: 6 p.m., Friday, April 26
Where: Carnegie Music Hall
Speaker: Admiral Rachel L. Levine, assistant secretary for health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will speak at the ceremony.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

When: 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, April 27
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum
Speakers: Pat Croce (SHRS ’77), a New York Times bestselling author and entrepreneur with ventures in sports medicine, hospitality and professional sports (including serving as a minority owner and CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers), will speak at the morning ceremony. Gregory Meloy (SHRS ’07) will speak at the afternoon ceremony. He is a celebrated orthopedic surgeon practicing in his hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania, who completed his residency under the tutelage of Freddie Fu. Attendees will also hear from Anantha Shekhar, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine.

Find more SHRS commencement information online.

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

When: 10 a.m., Saturday, April 27
Where: Petersen Events Center
Speakers: At this first-ever combined ceremony, all Pitt Business degree recipients will hear from Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean Gene Anderson as well as the student and faculty member of the year from both the Katz School and College of Business Administration.

School of Social Work

When: 5 p.m., Sunday, April 28
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum
Speaker: Anthony Estreet is chief executive officer of the National Association of Social Workers, the largest membership organization of professional social workers globally. He also is a professor for the Master of Social Work program at Morgan State University.

School of Law

When: 11 a.m., Friday, May 3
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum
Speaker: Emily Kinkead (LAW ’16) is a Pennsylvania State Representative committed to eliminating barriers for working families. Kinkead was elected to serve Pennsylvania's 20th Legislative District in 2020.

School of Dental Medicine

When: 1:00 p.m., Saturday, May 18
Where: Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts
Speaker: The graduating student speakers at this ceremony will include David Susko (DENT ’21G), Dental Class of 2024 President Vincenzo GiovannittiEric Pomper and Julia Michalski.

School of Medicine

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, May 19
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum
Speaker: Jeanne M. Marrazzo succeeded Anthony Fauci as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In this role, she oversees a $6.3 billion budget that supports research to advance the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases to improve the health of millions globally.


— Kara Henderson, photography by Aimee Obidzinski