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Clark Announces 114th Commencement Ceremony, Ibrahim to be Speaker

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Hauwa Ibrahim

Clark University’s 114th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20 on the Jefferson Academic Center Green.

The procession from the Kneller Athletic Center will begin at noon, followed by the ceremony.

Commencement Speaker Announced

This year’s commencement speaker is international human rights and Shariah law attorney Hauwa Ibrahim.

Ibrahim defied the cultural norms of Nigeria when she chose to go to school instead of getting married at 17.

She became the first female lawyer in Northern Nigeria, and is now an international human rights and Shariah law attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing women and children condemned to death in Shariah courts. 

She has served as Envoy for the United Nations, on the International Bar Association’s Council on Human Rights, and on Nigeria’s Presidential Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement.

Ibrahim has appeared before the United States Senate and House of Representatives. 

She also has served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard Divinity School; a visiting professor at the University of Rome, Italy; and a senior fellow at the Majlis El-Hassan in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In addition, in 2005 the European Parliament awarded Ibrahim the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Ibrahim will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Honorary Degrees

Susan Hanson, distinguished university professor emerita in the Graduate School of Geographyat Clark University, is an urban geographer with interests in gender and economy, transportation, local labor markets, and sustainability. Hanson, who has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is past-president of the American Association of Geographers and the recipient of lifetime achievement honors and the Brunn award for creativity from the AAG. Among many other awards, Hanson was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Social and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of the Van Cleef Medal from the American Geographical Society. She serves on multiple boards of the National Research Council and is the author of eight books and many research articles.

Christine Ortiz is Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also is founder and CEO of Station1, a new college focused on inquiry-based learning in science and technology for students from underrepresented backgrounds. As Dean of Graduate Education at MIT from 2000 to 2016, she focused on creating pathways for women and students of color to advance in graduate and research careers in science and engineering. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, Materials Research Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She is author and co-author of more than 170 peer publications, including publications in Science, Nature, and other top-ranked journals. 


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