The University Commencement Ceremony for NJIT will be held Saturday, May 17, 2008, at the Prudential Center, Newark from 9 a.m.-noon. During the ceremony, more than 2,000 honorary doctoral degrees and earned doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees will be conferred on the Class of 2008.
Thom Mayne, the 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, who is the founder and design principal of Morphosis, an interdisciplinary and collective architectural practice in Los Angeles, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters and speak.
With Morphosis, Mayne has been the recipient of 25 progressive architecture awards, 54 AIA awards and other recognitions for his designs. Under his direction, the firm has been the subject of various group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, most notably at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, OH, the Walker Arts Institute in Minneapolis, MN, and a major retrospective at the Netherlands Architectural Institute in 1999 and the Ministerio de Fomento in Madrid in 1998.
NJIT will award Norman Li, PhD, president of NL Chemical Technology, Inc. Illinois, an honorary doctorate. Li has had a distinguished 40-year career in the American chemical and petroleum industries. Li, the holder of 44 patents, invented the liquid membrane and mixed matrix membrane for effective separation and purification of gas and liquid phases. He also invented a low-energy consumption reverse osmosis membranes for desalination applications. He served as a consultant for the U.S. Apollo Moon Landing Project. Elected to the National Academy of Engineers, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Academia Sinica, he received the Perkin Medal, the highest honor in the American chemical industry.
NJIT will confer an honorary doctorate on longtime Newark resident Elizabeth Del Tufo. In 1973 Del Tufo helped create the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee to protect Newark architecture. Since then, 70 buildings and five districts have been placed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Later she convinced the city administration to create a Landmarks Commission which would, by state and municipal ordinance, protect all Newark sites on the historic registers. She served as chair of the commission for 16 years. As Essex County’s first director of cultural affairs, she expanded the annual concert events from less than a dozen to the more than 200 events residents enjoy today at parks throughout the county. She also helped transform Livingston’s once almost abandoned Nike Missile Base into Riker Hill Art Park. After retiring as director of the Newark Boys Chorus School, Del Tufo established a popular series of Newark tours (www.newarktours.com). She continues to lead as many as 40 a year.