Jay Leno to Speak at Emerson College for Commencement, 5/11

Jay Leno to Speak at Emerson College for Commencement, 5/11

Emerson College will award four honorary degrees during the College's 134th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 11, at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, 925 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. The ceremony will be streamed live at

This year's honorary degree recipients are former Tonight Show host and Emerson alumnus Jay Leno '73, who will provide the undergraduate address; Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition, who will provide the graduate address; Don Lemon, anchor of CNN Newsroom; and Catherine D'Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank.

Leno, Simon, Lemon, and D'Amato will each receive a Doctor of Humane Letters during the 134th annual undergraduate ceremony beginning at 10:00 am, which for the first time will be held at Agganis Arena at Boston University. Approximately 900 bachelor's degrees will be conferred at the ceremony. More than 300 master's degrees will be conferred during the graduate exercises, which start at 3:00 pm.

Jay Leno '73, an Emerson alumnus, is widely characterized as "the hardest-working man in show business." His late-night television domination has included two decades as the host of the number one-rated The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, following in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson. He won an Emmy for "Outstanding Comedy, Variety, and Music Series" and the People's Choice Award for "Favorite Late Night Show." His newest endeavor,Jay Leno's Garage, has won several Emmy Awards and nominations for "Outstanding Special Class: Short-Format Nonfiction." An indefatigable performer, Leno tests his humor with live audiences across the nation, performing more than 100 times annually in nightclubs, theaters, and stadiums. His children's books have been New York Times bestsellers, and he has done voiceover work for such films as Cars and Igor. A philanthropist committed to using his talents to benefit the less fortunate, he serves as master of ceremonies for numerous benefits, including those whose lives were devastated by the 9/11 tragedy, the tsunami in Thailand, hurricanes in the Gulf, and the severe economic downturn in Detroit. He leads the Love Ride in California to benefit numerous humanitarian organizations serving people with autism, muscular dystrophy, and the Special Olympics, among others.

Photo Credit: Lee Stranahan

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