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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bloomberg to deliver Commencement address, four others also to receive honorary degrees


Michael R. Bloomberg, the City of New York’s 108th mayor, will deliver the 2012 Commencement address on May 13. Chancellor Holden Thorp will preside at the ceremony, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Kenan Stadium.

Bloomberg was first elected mayor in 2001, just two months after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He is credited with innovative new policies and initiatives that have helped make New York City safer, stronger and greener than ever.

He attended Johns Hopkins University before earning an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Bloomberg began his career in an entry-level position with Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers and quickly rose through the ranks, eventually heading up the firm’s information systems.

When Salomon was acquired in 1981 and he was let go, Bloomberg used his experience there to envision an information company that would use emerging technology to bring transparency and efficiency to buyers and sellers of financial securities.

The result is Bloomberg LP, a company that has about 15,000 employees worldwide and more than 300,000 subscribers to its global financial news and information service.

Among his philanthropic efforts, Bloomberg helped build Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health into a leading institution of public health research and training.

In recognition of his innovative approach to public service, his entrepreneurship and his philanthropy, Bloomberg has delivered a number of university commencement or baccalaureate addresses.

He will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Four others also will receive honorary degrees.


David S. Ferriero, the 10th archivist of the United States and the first professional librarian to hold that position, will receive a doctor of laws degree.

He is charged with preserving the nation’s official permanent records, now estimated at about 9 billion pages of text, plus millions of maps, charts, drawings, photographs, digital data sets, films and videos. He has been a leader in responding to the challenges of fragile and easily mutable digital records.

Before accepting the position in 2009, Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon director of the New York Public Libraries. There, he integrated the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one service, creating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world.

Ferriero began his career shelving books at the MIT Library, where he remained for 31 years, becoming acting co-director of libraries. In 1996 he left for Duke University, where he served as university librarian and vice provost for library affairs.

While there, Ferriero chaired the advisory board for North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online), a State Library of North Carolina project to bring the treasures of the state’s museums, libraries, archives and historic sites to the public using digital technologies.

Ferriero holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern University and a master’s degree from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.


Thomas W. Lambeth, a senior fellow and retired executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds foundation, will receive a doctor of laws degree.

Lambeth, who received his bachelor’s degree in history from Carolina in 1957, served as Gov. Terry Sanford’s chief administrative assistant (at the time he was the youngest person in the nation to hold such a position). Later, he served as administrative assistant to U.S. Rep. Richardson Preyer.

Lambeth capped his career with 23 years as executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, where he directed more than $260 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.

He was a member and former chair of Carolina’s Board of Trustees and he served on many other boards and commissions. Lambeth is a recipient of Carolina’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal, the Board of Trustees’ William Richardson Davie Award and the UNC Board of Governors’ University Award.

The Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Professorship and the Lambeth Lecture in Public Policy at Carolina were both established in his honor. He is a member of the board of the North Carolina chapter of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Carolina’s School of Social Work, as well as the board of advisors of the UNC Center for Civil Rights.


World-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis, whose musical curiosity leads him to explore jazz, classical, blues and funk, will receive a doctor of music degree.

A native of New Orleans, Marsalis is a member of one of that city’s most distinguished musical families, who in 2011 received the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award.

Known for his innovation and broad musical scope, Marsalis has been a featured soloist performing works by Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Mihaud, Rorem and Vaughan Williams with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago, Detroit, Düsseldorf, Australian and North Carolina symphonies. He also toured for several months with the Philharmonia Brasileira.

The three-time Grammy recipient has played with such greats as Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins. A keen scout for new musical talent, he also has his own label, Marsalis Music.

Marsalis has held faculty positions at several universities. In his current post at N.C. Central, the members of his quartet serve as artists-in-residence. In addition, Marsalis engages in innovative educational efforts with Marsalis Jams, which fosters interactive education between professional musicians and students.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. conceived of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village in the hard-hit Ninth Ward, built as a project of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. The centerpiece of this effort is the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music (named for his father).


Katharine Lee Reid, who has had a 40-year career as an art museum curator, administrator and director, will receive a doctor of fine arts degree.

Reid has served as assistant and later deputy director of the Art Institute of Chicago (1982–1991), director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (1991–2000) and director of the Cleveland Museum of Art (2000–2005). She transformed each of these institutions by balancing scholarly concerns with community and audience interests.

She has been especially effective in reaching underserved audiences. Through her positions with the Association of Art Museum Directors, Reid has been a thoughtful leader in policy development, in promoting diversity and in responding to changes that influence and inform museum practice.

She has guided the practices of museums with respect to the ethical collecting of archaeological materials, leading to a presidential appointment to the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Her goal is to develop more flexibility in the art museum world toward the cultural treasures of other countries by focusing on exhibition rather than possession.

Reid serves on the national advisory board of the Ackland Art Museum, the visiting committee for the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar and the board of advisors for the Nasher Art Museum at Duke University. Her honors include membership in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Republique Française.

Doctoral hooding ceremony

Azaleas are in full bloom at the Old Well. It has long been a favorite spot for Tar Heels of all ages to stop by for a drink of water. In the weeks leading up to Commencement, it is a popular site for soon-to-be graduates, decked out in their Carolina blue regalia, to have their photos taken.

Marc Levoy, whose career achievements include developing the cartoon animation system used in “The Flintstones” TV show and launching Google’s Street View project, will be the keynote speaker for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 12 at 10 a.m. in the Smith Center.

Levoy, who received his doctoral degree in computer science from Carolina in 1989, also is known for helping to create the field of computational photography. He is the VMware Founders Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, with a joint appointment in Stanford’s electrical engineering department.

Additional information

The Commencement ceremony will be held in Kenan Stadium, rain or shine, and tickets are not necessary.

If it rains during Commencement, the ceremony will be shortened, but it will not be relocated. If severe weather threatens and attendees’ safety is at risk, the ceremony will be canceled.

For information, see