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Doctor, Businesswoman To Give Addresses at ODU's Fall Commencement

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions who was the first to separate craniopagus conjoined twins, and acclaimed businesswoman Marilyn Tam, who was a top executive at Aveda, Reebok and Nike, will be the speakers at Old Dominion University's 111th commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Carson will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony for graduates of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Darden College of Education and College of Sciences. Tam will speak to graduates of the College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Public Administration, and College of Health Sciences at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Carson holds more than 50 honorary doctoral degrees. In 2001, Carson was named by CNN and Time magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 "Living Legends" on the occasion of its 200th anniversary. He was appointed in 2004 by President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Council on Bioethics.

Carson is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP, among literally hundreds of other awards and honors. In 2007, Christian Booksellers presented him with its Platinum Award for selling 1 million copies of his autobiography, "Gifted Hands."  The book was recently made into a television movie featured on the TNT network.

Marilyn Tam is a corporate consultant, speaker, author, executive director and founder of Us Foundation. She speaks, trains and consults with companies and governments globally on leadership, change management, diversity and how to integrate social and environmental issues to develop and enhance successful organizations.

Tam was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., president of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group and vice president of Nike, Inc. A successful entrepreneur, she has developed and built three diverse businesses: a corporate consulting and training company, a Web portal company and a supply chain software company. In addition, Tam is one of 14 accomplished, influential and inspiring women, along with Cathie Black, president of Hearst magazines, and Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET Networks, featured in "Glow," a documentary movie released internationally in November 2008.

Carson will be bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science. Tam will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Other honorary degree recipients include Blythe McGarvie and Adriane Brown.

McGarvie is one of the world's leading authorities on global financial ethics, women in business and boardroom leadership and chief executive officer of LIF Group and board member of Accenture, Pepsi Bottling Group, The Travelers Companies Inc., Viacom and Wawa.

Brown, senior vice president for energy strategy for all Honeywell businesses and functions and made Black Enterprise magazine's 100 Most Powerful in Corporate America list in 2009. Previously, she was on Automotive News' list of 100 leading women in the North American automotive industry (2005) and was one of Fortune magazine's Women to Watch (2006).

Both ceremonies will be video streamed live and can be accessed Saturday, Dec. 19, from the university's home page at www.odu.edu.


This article was posted on: December 7, 2009

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