Inside Rensselaer
* Peter R. Orszag Neil deGrasse Tyson
Peter R. Orszag Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson Harold E. Varmus
Robert S. Langer Harold E. Varmus
Colloquy To Feature Commencement Honorands
May 28
The Rensselaer community is invited to attend the eighth annual President’s Commencement Colloquy, which will be held Friday, May 28, at 4 p.m. at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Titled “Re-Igniting the Innovation Economy: Science and Technology,” the colloquy will feature the four 2010 Commencement honorands and will be led by President Shirley Ann Jackson.

Launched in 2003, the annual event is held the afternoon before the Institute’s Commencement celebration. The 2010 honorands who will participate in the colloquy are:

Peter R. Orszag — A former director of the Congressional Budget Office and a noted economist, he currently serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. He also served as Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow and deputy director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. Orszag will deliver the annual Commencement address on May 29.

Robert S. Langer — A leader in biotechnology, he currently serves as David H. Koch Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A native of Albany, Langer is a prolific inventor and holds more than 750 patents.

Neil deGrasse Tyson — A renowned astrophysicist, he currently serves as Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Tyson is a leading voice in astrophysics and a champion of increased science literacy for the general public. Tyson will open the colloquy with a special presentation.

Harold E. Varmus — He currently serves as president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989. He also serves as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

“Through their work, our honorands are shaping the national agenda on scientific discovery and technological innovation,” President Jackson said. “The question is, coming out of the current recession, what are the essential components to re-ignite the innovation economy? We are at a crossroads, where decisions and investments we make today must lay the foundation for our economic strength and global leadership. During the colloquy, we will look back, to examine what sparked the innovation revolution that has fueled our economy for generations. We will look outward, at the current state of collaboration among business, academia, and government essential to support a healthy innovation ecosystem. And, we will look forward, to see how, by removing barriers to creating new approaches, we can power our economy and uplift society as a whole.”

To RSVP for the Commencement Colloquy, go to

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 9, May 14, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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