Purchase College’s 40th annual commencement ceremony at the Westchester County Center on May 18, 2012, at 12:30 pm, will salute 1,100 graduates, bestow honorary degrees, recognize distinguished alumni, and congratulate three graduates for student excellence.Screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin will receive an honorary degree; perhaps best known for the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning TV series, The West Wing and his academy award-winning film, The Social Network, which reveals the story behind the founding of Facebook.Elizabeth J. McCormack, former president of Manhattanville College, will also be honored for her lifelong career in education and philanthropy. She has chaired the Asian Cultural Council since 1992, and currently serves on the boards of the Population Council, The Juilliard School, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and Hamilton College. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She formerly directed the Rockefeller Philanthropy office and continues as a philanthropic advisor to members of the Rockefeller family.
Distinguished alumni recognized this year are John Ambroseo, who graduated with a BA in chemistry in 1983 and eventually became president of Coherent, a laser-based technology company; and Ivan Menchell, also a 1983 graduate with a BA in drama and a Fulbright fellow, who has written plays and musical adaptations for the stage including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bonnie and Clyde.
Winners of the coveted Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence this year are German Firmin, Erin Sullivan, and Andy Archer.
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