2012 Commencement

Photo credit: Don Pollard

Renowned Expert on Welfare and Gender Equality
Janet Gornick Delivered 2012 Commencement Address
Honorary Degrees Awarded to Influential Gallerist Marian Goodman and Poet Laureate Philip Levine

Time and Place:
May 24, 5:30 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Avenue & 65th Street), Manhattan.
Janet Gornick, professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center and director of the Luxembourg Income Study Center.
Honorary Degrees: 
Doctor of Humane Letters to Marian Goodman, influential gallerist, who has exhibited many of the foremost artists of our time in New York and Paris.
Doctor of Humane Letters to Philip Levine, poet laureate of the United States, author of twenty collections of poems, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
President’s Distinguished Alumni Medal:
Binnaz Toprak, member of Turkey’s parliament, who received a doctorate from the Graduate Center in 1976.
Student Speaker:
Adele Kudish, doctoral candidate, Ph.D. Program in Comparative Literature.
492 Doctorates and 82 Master's degrees awarded.
(See below for further background on participants.)
Bios of the Participants
Janet Gornick – Commencement Speaker
Janet Gornick is professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center. She is also director of the Luxembourg Income Study, a cross-national data archive and research center located in Luxembourg. Most of her research concerns social welfare policies and their impact on family well-being and gender equality. Gornick is co-author of Gender Equality: Transforming Family Divisions of Labor (2009) and Families that Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment (2003). She has published articles on gender and social policy in journals such as the American Sociological Review; the Annual Review of Sociology; the Socio-Economic Review; the Journal of European Social Policy; Social Science Quarterly; Monthly Labor Review; and Feminist Economics. Gornick’s work has also appeared in magazines, including The American Prospect and Dissent.
Marian Goodman – Doctor of Humane Letters
Marian Goodman is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the contemporary art world. She founded the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York City in 1977 and opened her Paris exhibition space in 1995. In 2004, Peter Schjeldahl wrote in The New Yorker that “Goodman may be the most respected contemporary dealer in New York, for her taste, standards, and loyalty to her artists.” In November 2011, she was ranked 27th in ArtReview’s Power 100, a guide to the hundred most powerful figures in contemporary art. Over the years, she has shown the work of such major artists as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Sol Lewitt. More recently, she has presented Gerhard Richter, Jeff Baldessari, Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager, William Kentridge, among other leading contemporary artists.
Philip Levine – Doctor of Humane Letters
Philip Levine, current Poet Laureate of the United States, is the author of twenty collections of poems. His poetry books include News of the World (2010); Breath (2004); The Mercy (1999); The Simple Truth (1994), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; New Selected Poems (1991); 7 Years From Somewhere (1979), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Names of the Lost (1975), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; They Feed They Lion (1973); Not This Pig  (1968); and On the Edge (1963). Levine has also published nonfiction essays and interviews, collected in The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography (1994); Don't Ask (1981); and So Ask: Essays, Conversations, and Interviews (2002). He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Foundation fellowships.
Binnaz Toprak – President’s Distinguished Alumni Medal
Binnaz Toprak (who earned a Ph.D. in political science from the Graduate Center in 1976) was elected to Turkey’s parliament, the Grand National Assembly, in June 2011, representing one of Istanbul’s districts. She is a vocal member of the assembly’s major opposition party and vice-chair of the parliament’s gender equality committee. From 1976 until 2008, Toprak taught political science and international relations at Bogazici University, Turkey’s most popular university. (Founded in 1863, it is also the first American institution of higher education outside the U.S.) Her doctoral dissertation, “Religion and Political Development in Turkey,” focused on the role of Islam in Turkish politics and the widening gap between the nation’s Westernized secular elite and the Islamic masses.
Adele Kudish – Student Speaker
Adele Kudish, who will receive a Ph.D. in comparative literature, has accepted a tenure-track job at Borough of Manhattan Community College. In her dissertation, “Double-Dealings and Double Meanings: Doubting and Knowing in European ‘Analytical’ Fiction,” she examines the way authors represent consciousness in works of literature written well before Freudian psychoanalysis and the discipline of psychology were established in the late nineteenth century.

Submitted on: MAY 9, 2012

Category: Press Room