Legendary Record Producer Jimmy Iovine to Speak at USC’s 2013 Commencement Ceremony

April 24, 2013


Contact: Andrew Good: gooda@usc.edu or 213-740-8606

Jimmy Iovine, producer and chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records, will be the speaker at USC’s 2013 Commencement ceremony.

Iovine has collaborated with some of the music industry’s brightest stars. He’s brought many of those performers to national attention as co-founder of Interscope Records. He has also cultivated new talent as a mentor on American Idol and serves as co-founder of the audio gear company Beats by Dr. Dre.

Over his four-decade career, Iovine has worked with John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen (“Born To Run,” “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”), Patti Smith (“Easter”), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (“Damn The Torpedoes”), U2 (“Rattle & Hum”),  Stevie Nicks (“Bella Donna”), and The Pretenders (“Get Close”).

More than 13,000 Trojans will receive degrees this year, with the main ceremony taking place May 17 in Alumni Park. About 5,000 undergraduate and 6,000 master’s degrees will be conferred during the event, either at the main ceremony or one of the satellite events to be held across the University Park Campus.

For more information on this year’s ceremony, click here.

Other Speakers

In addition to Iovine, individual schools will be hosting their own noteworthy speakers.

John Gurdon is the 2012 Nobel Prize winner recognized for his contributions to the field of cloning and stem cell research. Gurdon is receiving an honorary degree from USC. He is not a commencement speaker this year, but he will deliver an address on the field of cloning Thursday, May 16 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC.

Amir Whitaker, commencement speaker for the USC Rossier School’s graduate ceremony. Whitaker is a USC alum and founder of Project Knucklehead, a non-profit promoting education among urban youth. Both of Whitaker’s parents were incarcerated, and he was raised by his grandparents in a 14-person home where no one had attended college. A highschool mentor helped turn his life around and motivated him to pursue higher education.

Stacey Sher, commencement speaker for the USC School of Cinematic Arts, is an Oscar-nominated producer (“Pulp Fiction,” “Erin Brockovich”) and USC alumna. Matthew Weiner, USC alumnus and creator/executive producer of “Mad Men,” will receive the School of Cinematic Arts’ 2013 Mary Pickford Alumni Award. Weiner is the son of Leslie Weiner, a neuroscientist at USC.

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, commencement speaker for the USC Gould School of Law, is Chief Justice of California. She is the first Asian-Filipina and second woman to serve in the position.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Six honorary degree recipients, including Iovine, will be recognized for their contributions as civic, academic and arts leaders in the community:

John Gurdon has led significant advances in the field of developmental biology, particularly through his groundbreaking work in nuclear transplantation and cloning. In the 1960s, his seminal experiments demonstrated the viability of animal cloning and laid the foundation for modern stem cell research. Sir Gurdon’s discoveries have transformed the understanding of how cells and organisms develop and led to major medical breakthroughs. For these singular contributions, he was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

David Henry Hwang has distinguished himself as a renowned playwright, screenwriter and librettist. He is best known as author of the award-winning play M. Butterfly and also has written Golden Child, Yellow Face and his most recent work, Chinglish. Hwang has received many accolades, including the Steinberg Award for Playwriting, the largest monetary prize in theater. In addition, President Bill Clinton appointed him to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, a position he held from 1994 to 2001.

Glorya Kaufman has established a stellar profile as an arts benefactor and has earned an eminent position among the world’s leading champions of dance. For several decades, she has focused her energy on philanthropic ventures, forming a foundation to support dance, fine arts, theater, education, research, medicine and other interests. In 2012, she committed one of the largest gifts in the history of American dance to create and endow the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and construct the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center at USC.

Edward P. Roski Jr. serves as chairman and CEO of Majestic Realty Co., one of the oldest and largest privately held real estate companies in the United States. He has made several contributions to the surrounding region as a civic leader and as co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Lakers and the Staples Center. He is a dedicated USC alumnus who has played a key role for the university through his work as chairman of the USC Board of Trustees.

Gayle Garner Roski is a longtime USC supporter and devoted patron of the arts. She is a talented artist whose watercolors have been exhibited extensively in museums and galleries throughout the world. Together with her husband, Edward, she provided a major gift to USC’s fine arts school, which was renamed the USC Roski School of Fine Arts in her honor. Mrs. Roski remains one of the city’s most passionate cultural ambassadors, heading public art projects throughout the region.

Honored Students

This year’s valedictorian is Katherine Fu, with BAs in Neuroscience and Biological Sciences. The two salutatorians are Alex Fullman, BA in Political Science, and Julia Mangione, BA in International Relations.

Other Speakers

Diplomas will be presented at satellite ceremonies for individual schools, with speakers to include:

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, School of Communication

Zev Yaroslavky, LA County Supervisor, Third District

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, School of Journalism

Geneva Overholser, School of Journalism Director and Professor

USC School of Architecture

Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic and columnist

USC School of Cinematic Arts

Stacey Sher, Academy Award-nominated producer of “Pulp Fiction” and “Erin Brockovich”

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences

The USC Dornsife College has four ceremonies.

Group 1

Peter Mancall, Divisional Vice Dean, Humanities

Group 2

Charles McKenna, Divisional Vice Dean, Natural Sciences

Group 3

Steve Lamy, Vice Dean for Academic Programs

Group 4

Wendy Wood, Divisional Vice Dean, Social Sciences

USC School of Dramatic Arts

David Henry Hwang, playwright, screenwriter and librettist known for “M. Butterfly”

USC Gould School of Law

Tani Cantil-Skauye, California Chief Justice, the first Asian-Filipina American and second woman to serve in the role

Keck School of USC

Robert Ross, CEO of the California Endowment

Speakers for additional ceremonies for Keck School programs will be announced and posted on the Commencement site.

USC Leventhal School

Reginald Harpur, Controller for Warner Bros.

USC Marshall School, Undergraduate Ceremony

Robert B. McKnight, co-founder and president of Quiksilver

USC Marshall School, Graduate Ceremony

Hans Hufschmid, co-founder of GlobeOp Financial Services

USC’s Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Program

Capt. Mary Greenwood, U.S. Navy

Ostrow School of USC

Jerold Goldberg, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University

USC School of Pharmacy

Jon Roth, CEO of the California Pharmacist’s Association

USC Roski School of Fine Arts

Gayle Roski, USC supporter and patron of the arts

USC Rossier School

Amir Whitaker, founder of Project Knucklehead and USC alumnus


Maj. Gen. Terrence Feehan, Vice Commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base

USC School of Social Work

Clinical Associate Professor Rafael Angulo, recipient of the Jane Addams Faculty Award

USC Thornton School

Diane Wittry, director and conductor of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra

USC Viterbi School

N.R. Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys