Pitt to Hold 2011 Commencement May 1 in Petersen Events Center

Issue Date: 
May 1, 2011

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will welcome graduating members of the Class of 2011, faculty, trustees, alumni, staff, and invited guests, families, and friends attending Pitt’s 2011 Commencement at 1 p.m. May 1 in the Petersen Events Center.

University of Pittsburgh alumnus U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (A&S ’64), a renowned national leader regarding such issues as health care, retirement security, the environment, and fiscal policy, will deliver the University’s 2011 commencement address. At the ceremony, Pitt will confer upon Cardin the degree of Doctor of Public and International Affairs Honoris Causa.

Chief University Marshal Michael R. Pinsky will open the ceremony, leading a procession of members of the graduating class, faculty, staff, the Council of Deans, trustees, and administrative officers in full academic regalia; Pinsky is a professor of critical care medicine and bioengineering in the School of Medicine and president of the University Senate. The University Symphonic Band, under the direction of Pitt Director of Bands Jack R. Anderson, will provide music.

After the awarding of diplomas—presented by Chancellor Nordenberg, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson, and the deans of the schools and colleges—David M. Gau will speak on behalf of the graduating class. Gau, a graduating senior in the University Honors College and School of Arts and Sciences, will receive the Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Science degrees during the commencement ceremony. His talk will be followed by an address from Jack D. Smith (A&S ’69), president of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association, who will welcome the graduates as Pitt’s newest alumni.

In all, Pitt will confer approximately 7,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees this year at its five campuses; Pitt-Bradford, Pitt-Greensburg, Pitt-Johnstown, and Pitt-Titusville will hold their own commencement ceremonies.

Cardin was elected from Maryland to the U.S. House of Representatives (D-3rd District) in 1986 and to the U.S. Senate in 2006. Since 1993, he has been a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission), serving as chairman in the 111th Congress and cochairman in the 112th Congress. In the 112th Congress, he chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee’s (EPW) Water and Wildlife Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Committee’s International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection Subcommittee. Cardin currently serves on the EPW, Finance, Foreign Relations, Budget, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Cardin brings with him the expertise he developed while serving for 17 years on the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House. During that time, many of his proposals were enacted into law, including increasing the amount Americans can save for retirement, expanding Medicare to include preventive benefits, and improving the foster care system.

During the 111th Congress, Cardin supported the Affordable Care Act and was successful in getting a guaranteed dental benefit included in the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The America Recovery and Reinvestment Act included his amendments to provide first-time homebuyers with an $8,000 tax credit and to raise the cap on surety bonds for small businesses from $2 million to $5 million. He also introduced the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act to give states and local governments new enforcement tools to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

From 1987 to 2007, Cardin represented Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to serving on the House Ways and Means Committee, he served on the Judiciary and Budget committees, the Committee on Standards and Official Conduct (the Ethics Committee), and the Select Committee on Homeland Security. He also served as the senior Democrat on the Trade and the Human Resources subcommittees of the Ways and Means Committee.

In addition to receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, Cardin graduated first in his class from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1967. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law (1990), University of Maryland at Baltimore (1993), Baltimore Hebrew University (1994), Goucher College (1996), and Stevenson University (formerly Villa Julie College) (2007).