Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

UA commencement in mid-May

Citizen Staff Writer



A health care innovator and the author of a prophetic look at Earth without humans are the May 2009 commencement speakers for the University of Arizona.

Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway Human Transporter and founder of DEKA Research & Development Corp., will regale and inspire UA undergraduates during their May 16 commencement at McKale Center.

Candidates for master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees will receive their accolades the evening before, after listening to UA associate professor Alan Weisman, author of The New York Times best-selling book “The World Without Us.”

UA decided this year to separate the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies, allowing for two shorter events with more individual recognition instead of one multi-hour ceremony that sometimes devolved into a tortilla-tossing fest.

Jacqueline Mok, Shelton’s chief of staff, said Weisman was chosen in large part due to nominations from graduate students.

“He has a very good reputation among graduate students and we got a lot of feedback from them regarding who they wanted for a commencement speaker,” she said.

Weisman, a prominent environmental writer, teaches a class in international journalism that draws both graduates and undergraduates and takes advantage of his years of experience traveling the world as a journalist.

“The World Without Us” was named Time’s No. 1 nonfiction book of 2007 and Weisman has received numerous awards for his reporting from Latin America, which has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

Weisman said he’s looking forward to entertaining and informing the commencement audience.

“If you remember your commencement, you sort of close your eyes at the speaker and wait until it is over,” he said. “The challenge is to find something to speak on that is attention-getting. But there is no more important audience than people who are getting right out of college because it is a pretty complicated world out there they are about to walk into.”

Kamen, who was traveling out of the country Thursday and unavailable for comment, holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents for devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide.

Some of his notable inventions include the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics and the HomeChoice portable peritoneal dialysis machine.

He has been awarded the National Medal of Technology and the Lemelson-MIT Prize and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.

Kamen’s chief of staff, Kerri Maxwell, said the inventor is excited about speaking at commencement and touring some of UA’s technology and research facilities.

Arizona State University announced last month that President Obama would be its commencement speaker in May.

Segway inventor, best-selling author to be UA commencement speakers

If you go

• WHAT: The University of Arizona’s 140th commencement.

• WHEN: Master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees will be awarded at 7:30 p.m., May 15. Undergraduate degrees will be awarded at 8 a.m. May 16.

• WHERE: McKale Memorial Center

• PARKING: Free parking is available in any surface lot or parking garage. Handicap drop-off is on Fred Enke Drive on the south side of McKale Memorial Center.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service