...Changing The World

Gary K. Michelson, C.L. Max Nikias, Yannis C. Yortsos, Michael Quick; USC Honorary Degree Recipient — Doctor of Humane Letters [USC] [2017-05-12]

Gary K. Michelson Awarded USC Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters

Context

Friday, May 12th 2017 • 8:30AM
Alumni Park between Doheny Library and Bovard Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA 90089

The commencement ceremony at University of Southern California is the most highly anticipated event in any given year, when the university proudly confers degrees to its newest alumni. Now a beloved tradition, the university hosts esteemed luminaries to address the graduating class, as well as awarding of honorary degrees to individuals who embody Trojan ideals. Found on the list are governors, university presidents, humanitarians, captains of industry, and even the first man on the moon.

The main Commencement ceremony on May 12 opens with a procession beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by remarks by university leadership, the conferring of honorary degrees, addresses by the the valedictorian and commencement speaker, and the formal transition—the turning of the mortarboard tassel from right to left—that marks the moment when members of the current graduating class officially become USC graduates and alumni.

Following the main Commencement ceremony, each Academic School hosts their own ceremony, usually followed by a reception. The Academic School Ceremony is an opportunity for each program to celebrate as a cohort group, hear remarks from a speaker related to their chosen disciplines, and honor each graduate as that individual walks across the stage to receive congratulations from the platform party.

Transcript

C.L. Max Nikias: Our Dean of Viterbi School of Engineering, Yannis Yortsos, will present our third candidate for an honorary degree.

Yannis C. Yortsos: Mr. President, upon the recommendation of the appropriate university committee, I present for the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Dr. Gary K. Michelson. Gary Michelson stands among the world’s most influential and prolific innovators. His technological breakthroughs as an inventor and as an orthopedic surgeon transformed the medical community’s approach to spinal surgery.

Dr. Michelson’s ingenuity has already led to nearly 1,000 patents, a number that eclipses Thomas Edison’s. In partnering with our university to build the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, he has proclaimed his extraordinary commitment to creating new knowledge and accelerating the pace of discovery while deepening the impact of his far-reaching philanthropy.

For his fearless technological accomplishments, his unparalleled surgical skills, and his profound contributions to the greater good, the University of Southern California is proud to honor Gary K. Michelson with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

C.L. Max Nikias: By the authority vested in me by the USC Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon Gary K. Michelson the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Congratulations, Gary.

Press Excerpt

USC announces six honorary degree recipients for 2017 commencement

Recipients include a social work visionary, a leading researcher in the fight against AIDS, a spinal surgery innovator, an award-winning actress, the chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and a popular comedy star.

USC will recognize six honorary degree candidates for their contributions to the community as civic, academic, scientific and arts leaders as part of the university’s 134th commencement ceremony on the University Park Campus on May 12.

The honorary degree recipients are social work leader Suzanne Dworak-Peck; comedy star Will Ferrell ’90; David D. Ho, founding director and CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center; biomedical pioneer Gary Michelson; Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren; and Mark Ridley-Thomas PhD ’89, chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Ferrell is also this year’s commencement speaker.

About 15,000 degrees will be conferred during USC’s commencement this year, including more than 1,500 doctorate degrees. The main ceremony will be held at Alumni Park. More than 60,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

(…)

Gary Michelson
Gary K. Michelson; Publicity Picture Garden #1 [2008-11-12] (Credit: Seth Casteel)

Gary K. Michelson (Credit: Seth Casteel)

Gary Michelson is a distinguished orthopaedic spinal surgeon and inventor who has dedicated himself to improving the lives of others. Discontent with traditional surgical procedures, he spent decades developing implants, surgical processes and instruments that enable doctors to successfully cure a vastly greater proportion of spinal conditions.

His technological breakthroughs revolutionized the medical community’s approach to spinal surgery by making it safer, faster, more effective and less expensive. Michelson stands among the world’s most influential and prolific medical innovators with nearly 1,000 patents issued or pending worldwide. In recognition of his work, he earned the rare distinction of being inducted into both the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Inventors.

He also remains a passionate philanthropist, supporting far-reaching initiatives in areas such as medical research, bioscience, technology, animal welfare and education. Combining several of these interests, he and his wife, Alya, have partnered with USC to create the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience — a research stronghold aimed at accelerating the development of scientific innovations that benefit society as a whole.

Source
Yannis C. Yortsos, Gary K. Michelson; USC 134th Commencement Ceremony, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters [2017-05-12] {#6606} (Credit: Steve Cohn)
Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Yannis C. Yortsos, introduces Gary K. Michelson as an honorary degree recipient. [USC’s 134th Commencement Ceremony – 2017-05-12] {#6606} (Credit: Steve Cohn)

Michael Quick, Gary K. Michelson; USC 134th Commencement Ceremony, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters [2017-05-12] {#7086} (Credit: Steve Cohn)
USC Provost Michael Quick bestows the hood of Gary K. Michelson’s doctoral regalia prior to his Degree of Humane Letters acceptance. [USC’s 134th Commencement Ceremony – 2017-05-12] {#7086} (Credit: Steve Cohn)

C.L. Max Nikias, Gary K. Michelson; USC 134th Commencement Ceremony, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters [2017-05-12] {#7656} (Credit: Steve Cohn)
USC President C.L. Max Nikias confers Gary K. Michelson’s honorary degree of Doctor in Humane Arts. [USC’s 134th Commencement Ceremony – 2017-05-12] {#7656} (Credit: Steve Cohn)

Gary K. Michelson, Helen Mirren; USC 134th Commencement Ceremony, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters [2017-05-12] {#0502} (Credit: Steve Cohn)
Gary K. Michelson signs the V of Victory after accepting his honorary degree as a Doctor of Humane Letters. [USC’s 134th Commencement Ceremony – 2017-05-12] {#0502} (Credit: Steve Cohn)

Gary K. Michelson, C.L. Max Nikias; USC 134th Commencement Ceremony, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters [2017-05-12] {#4621} (Credit: Steve Cohn)
USC President C.L. Max Nikias and honorary degree recipient Gary K. Michelson in full academic regalia during the post-commencement reception. [USC’s 134th Commencement Ceremony – 2017-05-12] {#4621} (Credit: Steve Cohn)

Quotes
Yannis C. Yortsos

For his fearless technological accomplishments, his unparalleled surgical skills, and his profound contributions to the greater good, the University of Southern California is proud to honor Gary K. Michelson with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

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