Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree on Sunday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m., in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
In addition to Baker, honorary degrees will be awarded to Hamilton alumnus John B. Emerson '75, retired United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany; Hamilton alumna and trustee Nancy Roob '87, president and CEO of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and CEO of Blue Meridian Partners; and Adam Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of Art.
Interestingly enough, Governor Baker told the Boston Globe in 2014 that his greatest regret was “Not going to Hamilton. I never really felt comfortable at Harvard.”
Roob will offer the Baccalaureate address on Saturday, May 20, at 3 p.m., in the Scott Field House. Five hundred eight students will receive bachelor’s degrees during Hamilton’s Commencement ceremony.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Charlie Baker was inaugurated as the 72nd governor of Massachusetts in 2015 after several decades of service in both state government and the private sector. Recently, U.S. News and World Report named Massachusetts the best state in the country under Governor Baker’s leadership.
Since taking office, Baker has worked to close two budget gaps worth more than $2 billion without raising taxes, while bolstering local aid for schools and communities, investing in a more reliable public transportation system, and prioritizing funds to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic.
The Republican governor has supported robust business sectors by reforming the Commonwealth’s regulatory environment, holding the line on taxes, and advancing efforts to rein in energy costs.
Baker has said he wants to ensure that Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in education and has invested over $4.6 billion in Chapter 70 education funding -- the highest level of local education aid in state history.
To combat the opioid and heroin epidemic, his administration has implemented a plan focused on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support that includes partnering with the legislature on passage of landmark legislation.
Baker has also began a major overhaul to fix the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). He has appointed a Fiscal and Management Control Board to oversee the system’s operations and finances, and prioritize investments in a system used by more than one million riders daily.
Prior to his election to governor, Baker was the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and held senior leadership positions in government. He served as a cabinet secretary to Massachusetts Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci, and as CEO he led Harvard Pilgrim Health Care from the brink of bankruptcy to one of the nation’s highest ranked health care providers.
Governor Baker was raised in Needham, Mass., attended Massachusetts public schools and graduated from Harvard College. He earned a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson '75
A 1975 Hamilton graduate, John B. Emerson served as United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2013 until 2017. He was responsible for Mission Germany, which includes the operation and activities of the Embassy, five consulates and nearly 2,000 employees, as well as for coordinating with the U.S. military command in Germany.
Emerson collaborated with the highest levels of the U.S. and German governments and with the EU and NATO on numerous bilateral and multilateral matters. He also worked on commercial matters with American and German corporations, financial institutions and regulators in support of American interests.
In 2015, Emerson received the State Department’s prestigious Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. In 2017, he was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Secretary of the Navy, and the CIA Medal.
Before accepting his diplomatic post, he was president of Private Client Services for Capital Group Companies, one of the world's largest investment management firms, from 1997 to 2013. Previously, Emerson served on President Clinton’s senior staff from 1993 to 1997 as deputy director of presidential personnel, and then as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs, where he was the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors.
Emerson also coordinated the Economic Conference of the Clinton-Gore transition team. In 2010, President Obama appointed him to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Before joining the Clinton administration, Emerson was chief deputy city attorney for the City of Los Angeles. Prior to that he worked with the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips law firm.
Emerson was active in civic, cultural, academic and foreign policy affairs in Los Angeles before relocating to Berlin. He served as a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Council on Foreign Relations. Emerson earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago.
Nancy Roob '87, President and CEO of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Nancy Roob, a 1987 Hamilton graduate and trustee, is president and CEO of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, a New York-based institution that provides opportunities for low-income youth (ages 9-24) in the United States. She is also CEO of a new philanthropic collaboration, Blue Meridian partners.
She played a major role in developing EMCF’s grantmaking strategy of making large, long-term investments in outstanding nonprofits to expand programs proven to lift the prospects of America’s most disadvantaged youth. Roob also pioneered a form of coordinated, collaborative investment (growth capital aggregation), which in eight years leveraged $155 million of EMCF’s own funds to help 16 nonprofits secure an additional $487 million in additional private and public capital.
Roob was cited as one of “New Philanthropy’s Biggest Stars” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and named “Foundation President of the Year” by Inside Philanthropy in 2016.
Recently, Roob led the formation of Blue Meridian Partners, a collaboration of 12 philanthropic institutions and individuals pooling $1 billion to support nonprofits poised to make a national impact on economically disadvantaged children and youth. She serves as CEO of the organization.
Before becoming EMCF’s president in 2005, Roob was the foundation’s vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to that, she developed EMCF’s Program for New York Neighborhoods, which launched community-building and neighborhood-stabilization projects in the South Bronx and Central Harlem. One of the projects supported by this program evolved into the Harlem Children’s Zone, whose success has inspired federal legislation creating “Promise Neighborhoods” throughout the nation.
Before joining the foundation in 1994, Roob worked for the Boston Persistent Poverty Project, a program of the Rockefeller and Boston foundations; the Fund for the Homeless, a project of the Boston Foundation; and the Child Care Resource and Referral Center, also in Boston.
Roob holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum
Adam D. Weinberg became the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum in 2003. During his tenure, the Whitney has presented dozens of exhibitions on emerging, mid-career and senior artists, offered award-winning educational programs, experienced exponential growth in its permanent collection and dramatically expanded its performance program. In 2015, the museum opened a new 220,000-square-foot Renzo Piano-designed building in the Meatpacking District.
From 1999 to 2003, Weinberg was director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy. Prior to that, he was senior curator and curator of the Permanent Collection at the Whitney. In 1991, Weinberg became artistic and program director of the American Center in Paris. He first joined the Whitney in 1989 as a director of the Whitney at Equitable Center. Beginning in 1981, Weinberg served as director of education and assistant curator at the Walker Art Center.
Weinberg has curated exhibitions on artists from Edward Hopper, Richard Pousette-Dart and Isamu Noguchi to Alex Katz, Robert Mangold, Sol Lewitt and Frank Stella. He has organized thematic exhibitions and public projects with such artists as Christian Boltanski, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Lorna Simpson and Jessica Stockholder. He has written numerous catalogues and has been a grant panelist for civic and private foundations.
Weinberg serves as a board member of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Storm King Art Center, The American Academy in Rome, Terra Foundation for American Art and the Colby College Museum of Art.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, and a master’s degree from the Visual Studies Workshop, SUNY Buffalo, and has received honorary degrees from Colby College and the Pratt Institute. In 2015, Weinberg was awarded the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.