Commencement day

Class of 2003 will celebrate on May 18

Nearly 2,000 members of the Class of 2003 will receive their diplomas on May 18 during Tufts' 147th commencement ceremonies.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, the first woman to lead the 311-year-old court, will deliver the all-university commencement address when ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. on the main academic quad on the Medford/Somerville campus. She also will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.

photo of student on graduation day

© Mark Morelli

Tufts will award three other honorary degrees during the all-university commencement:

Arthur Mitchell, founder of the innovative Dance Theatre of Harlem, will be awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.

Mario Molina, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the effect of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) on the depletion of the ozone layer, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

Agnes Varis, who has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of science's responsibility to help solve society's problems, will be awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree.

For the first time this year, Tufts will offer a real-time webcast of the all-university commencement ceremony and of the degree-awarding ceremony for graduates in Arts & Sciences, Engineering and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. For details about the webcast and instructions about testing your technology so that you will be able to access the webcast, visit

Degree-awarding ceremonies for Tufts' individual schools will follow the main ceremony at 11:45 a.m. The locations for the school ceremonies are:

row of students seated at graduation

© Mark Morelli

College of Liberal Arts, Jackson College, School of Engineering, College of Special Studies and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences—Lawn between Ballou Hall and Bendetson Hall (main commencement site)

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy—Fletcher Field. Mohammed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will address the graduates of the Fletcher School.

School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences—Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center

School of Dental Medicine—Carmichael Quad

Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy—Marston Balch Arena Theater/Alumnae Lounge, Aidekman Arts Center

School of Veterinary Medicine—2 p.m., Grafton campus

As chief justice of the oldest court in the Western Hemisphere, Marshall has led an ambitious initiative to reform the Commonwealth's court system. She also has demonstrated a strong commitment to higher education throughout her career, which has included service as vice president and general counsel at Harvard University.

three guys in cap & gown

© Mark Morelli

A native of South Africa, Marshall graduated from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg in 1966. That year, she was elected president of the National Union of South African Students, becoming a leader in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. She came to the United States in 1968 to pursue her graduate studies.

"As an activist in South Africa and now as the state's chief justice, Margaret Marshall has dedicated her life to protecting freedom and justice," Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow said. "Chief Justice Marshall embodies the value of public service that we encourage and cultivate in all of our students at Tufts. Her tireless life's work in support of social justice should serve as inspiration to us all."

First appointed an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in November 1996, Marshall was named chief justice in September 1999 by Gov. Paul Cellucci.

More information about commencement can be found at