UIC commencement speakers to address graduates on Dec. 15

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A senior academic administrator and a regional banking executive will deliver commencement addresses at two ceremonies on Dec. 15 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

A ceremony for the Graduate College will take place at 9 a.m. and an undergraduate ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the Credit Union 1 Arena (formerly known as the UIC Pavilion), 525 S. Racine Ave.

Ezekiel Emanuel

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel will speak to graduate students and Eric Smith will speak to undergraduate students receiving degrees in Applied Health Sciences, Architecture, Design and the Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Nursing, the School of Public Health, as well as Urban Planning and Public Affairs. More than 1,400 graduate students and 1,500 undergraduate students are eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies.

Emanuel is the vice provost for global initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

From January 2009 to January 2011, Emanuel served as a special advisor on health policy to the director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council, where he had a major role in shaping the Affordable Care Act. Prior to that, he was the founding chair of the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health from 1997 to August of 2011.

Emanuel received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. He has published more than 300 articles on health care reform, research ethics and end-of-life care, and is the most widely cited bioethicist. His most recent book, “Prescription for the Future,” identifies standout medical organizations that have achieved higher-quality, more patient-focused, and lower-cost care, and from their examples distills 12 transformational practices that could transform the entire healthcare sector.

He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a 2018 recipient of the Dan David Prize in the category of bioethics, an honor recognizing innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms.

Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is regional president of Fifth Third Bank (Chicago), which includes more than $9.7 billion in assets. In this role, he is responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of commercial, wealth and asset management and consumer businesses to deliver distinctive value to customers and community impact in the region.

Smith joined Fifth Third in October 2016 from JPMorgan Chase, where he most recently served as chief financial officer of middle market banking. Prior to assuming that role in 2011, he was a managing director in the investment bank, where he served as the head of the North American Food and Beverage Group. He also was responsible for advising Fortune 500 consumer product companies on merger and acquisition transactions as well as debt and equity underwritings.

Smith has more than 25 years of banking experience and began his career with Merrill Lynch as a financial analyst in public finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Howard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Smith currently serves as the chairman of the board for the Chicago Urban League, chairman of the board for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation, vice chairman of the board for Goodman Theatre, and an executive committee board member for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Likewise, he is an active member of the board for the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

To accommodate guests who cannot attend, UIC will stream both commencements.

Click here for complete details about fall commencement at UIC.

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