University System of Georgia Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby will address Georgia Tech’s 244th undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 15, while the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Ralph Cicerone, is scheduled to address the master’s and Ph.D. ceremony on Friday night.
Approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students will participate in the ceremonies.
Georgia Tech alumnus John Portman will receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree for his achievements in pioneering the concept of architecture as a developer.
Portman also is credited with successfully building both an architectural firm of international repute as well as a host of affiliated real estate development, financing and management companies; setting the standard of excellence for the development of mixed use complexes, domestic and international landmarks and major resort areas around the world as chairman of Portman Holdings, LLC; and serving as an iconic role model for generations of architecture students.
A native Georgian, Huckaby has a strong reputation in the areas of public higher education and state finance and budgeting.
In May of 2011, the Board of Regents selected Huckaby as the University System’s 12th chancellor. He oversees 35 public colleges and universities with a $6.5 billion annual budget and 43,000 faculty and staff fulfilling the teaching, research and public service mission to 314,000 students. The Georgia Public Library System also is part of the University System.
Huckaby emphasizes performance, partnerships and values as he works to build strong public and political support for the University System’s contributions to the state’s economic future and individual success.
Prior to becoming chancellor, Huckaby was a teacher and administrator in the University System and has taught at private colleges and universities. He also served in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, first as a senior policy coordinator and later as its director, as well as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and as the executive director of the Georgia Residential Finance Authority.
Huckaby has represented Georgia House District 113 as a Republican.
He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia State University. Huckaby continued his education through additional graduate studies at the University of Georgia.
Cirerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the National Research Council. His research has focused on atmospheric chemistry, the radiative forcing of climate change due to traces of gases and the sources of atmospheric methane, nitrous oxide and methyl halide gases. His scientific work has led him to shape science and environmental policy nationally and internationally.
The Franklin Institute recognized his fundamental contributions to the understanding of greenhouse gases and ozone depletion and his public policy leadership in protecting the global environment with its 1999 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science.
In 2004, the World Cultural Council honored him with the Albert Einstein World Award in Science.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, Cicerone began his research career at the University of Michigan (1970-1978), where the Ralph J. Cicerone Distinguished University Professorship of Atmospheric Science was established in 2007.
- The Georgia Institute of Technology contributed to this report