Spring Commencement Speaker chosen

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was selected to be the Commencement Speaker at the ceremony this spring.

Lavizzo-Mourey was selected by a committee of representatives from across campus because of her work in the healthcare industry and position as the head of a major foundation, said Associate Chancellor Reginald Alston.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest charitable organization in the U.S. specifically dedicated to health care. Prior to her time at the Foundation, she served as the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems at the University of Pennsylvania, according to the foundation website.

She studied at the University of Washington and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She later earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her master of business administration degree in health care administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.

The process of selecting the commencement speaker is started up to a year in advance, Alston said.

The ceremony will be held in Memorial Stadium on May 16, and should last about two and a half hours.