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LIU holds stellar 2009 commencement exercises

Renowned filmmaker Ken Burns, music−industry giants Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, and award−winning journalist Ron Chernow were among the notables who helped students celebrate the culmination of a successful academic year with graduation day rites and festivities at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University.

Approximately 2,000 students were conferred undergraduate, advanced certificate, graduate and doctoral degrees during the annual commencement exercises, held on the athletic field of the vibrant urban oasis at DeKalb and Flatbush avenues.

Burns, co−founder of Florentine Films and an Academy Award nominee for his acclaimed movies “Brooklyn Bridge” and “Statue of Liberty,” received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, while Motown greats Ashford and Simpson, known for such ballads as “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “Send It,” were each conferred honorary Doctor of Music degrees.

An honorary Doctor of Letters degree was presented to Chernow, whose body of work includes more than 60 articles in national newspapers and magazines, and more than a dozen cover stories, in addition to his work as director of financial policy studies at the New York−based think−tank Twentieth Century Fund.

The occasion also served to bestow distinguished alumni awards to two “highly accomplished” Brooklyn Campus graduates: Lorna E. Davis−Robinson (Class of ‘94), director, New York City Asthma Initiative, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Daniel B. Fisher ((Class of ‘67), retired secretary and treasurer, Fisher Brothers Manufacturing Jewelers.

Ukrainain−born Larysa Doudla delivered the valedictorian’s address.

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