Indiana University

Two to receive honorary degrees during IUPUI commencement

  • May 12, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue University and Indiana University will each present one honorary degree during Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis commencement ceremonies today.

IUPUI will hold two University Commencement ceremonies, one at 11 a.m. and the other at 3:30 p.m. Both take place in Halls A-B-C of the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. There will be 6,386 degrees awarded to 6,304 students: 5,100 degrees awarded from Indiana University and 1,286 degrees awarded from Purdue.

Visual artist Vija Celmins and healthcare innovator Chris E. Stout will receive honorary degrees during the 3:30 p.m. ceremony.

“We are honoring two life-changing individuals,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “Vija Celmins has changed how people see by creating and recreating images that seem familiar but surprising. Chris Stout and the Center for Global Initiatives reach across the world partnering to improve education and healthcare. We are proud that their journeys began here.”

Celmins is an internationally celebrated Herron School of Art and Design alumna who graduated in 1962 from the then-independent John Herron Art School. She will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University.

Celmins will also address graduating Herron students at the school’s ceremony, which takes place in the Wabash Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center immediately following the afternoon university ceremony.

Known for her photo-realistic paintings and drawings, the Riga, Latvia-born visual artist won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1997. She also won the Carnegie Prize in 2008 and the Roswitha Haftmann Prize in 2009. Her works are in permanent collections in the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York, and other museums around the world.

Celmins immigrated to the United States when she was 10 years old, settling with her family in Indiana. After graduating from Herron, she earned an M.F.A. degree in painting from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1965.

Purdue University will award a Doctor of Technology degree to Stout, a licensed clinical psychologist and founding director of the Center for Global Initiatives. The Center for Global Initiatives is ranked a Top Healthcare Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.org.

Stout’s wealth of entrepreneurial experience and business acumen has gained him recognition as a leader and innovator in the healthcare sector. He also has been involved in multiple start-ups in financial management, engineering and real estate.

After earning an associate of applied science degree at Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI in 1979, Stout earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI. He holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Forest Institute in Illinois.

Stout is a clinical professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also holds an academic appointment in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

*From IUPUI and Purdue University reports

Media Contacts

Diane Brown