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Past Commencements

Congratulations, Class of 2015!


Abigail Disney, Undergraduate Morning Speaker

A filmmaker, philanthropist, and activist, Abigail Disney has devoted her life to amplifying the voices of women fighting for peace in war-torn countries, and highlighting the key role women play in modern warfare. Her first film, the acclaimed documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, tells the inspirational story of Liberian women who came together to end their country's brutal civil war. The film won Best Documentary at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.

Ms. Disney will receive an honorary degree from Simmons College.

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Judith Richland
Associate Professor of Practice
College of Arts and Sciences

Deborah Porter '01GS, Graduate Afternoon Speaker

Established literary critic Deborah Porter has enriched the city of Boston through her love of literature and her generosity in sharing this with others. A Simmons College alumna, she is the founder and executive director of the Boston Book Festival, the largest public literary event in New England. The first festival - held in 2009 - drew more than 10,000 attendees; it has since doubled in size, with 25,000 attendees and more than 100 presenters annually including Pulitzer Prize-winning authors from around the world.

Ms. Porter will receive an honorary degree from Simmons College.

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Susan Bloom
Professor Emerita, Children's Literature
College of Arts and Sciences

Honorary Degree Recipients:

Laurence Prusak '82LS

Laurence Prusak is a widely acknowledged researcher, teacher, author, and consultant in knowledge management. He founded and directed the Center for Business Innovation at Ernst and Young, and the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management. A Simmons College alumnus, he currently is a Senior Advisor on Knowledge for NASA, and has been a guest lecturer at some of the world's most renowned universities, including MIT and Stanford.

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Professor James Matarazzo
Library and Information Science