Grammy winner, Fortune 500 CFO among 2016 commencement speakers

Honorary degree recipient Muhal Richard Abrams, a world-renowned pianist, addresses the graduates of DePaul University’s School of Music and The Theatre School at the 117th commencement ceremonies on June 13, 2015. (DePaul University / Jeff Carrion)
Honorary degree recipient Muhal Richard Abrams, a world-renowned pianist, addresses the graduates of DePaul University’s School of Music and The Theatre School at the 117th commencement ceremonies on June 13, 2015. (DePaul University / Jeff Carrion)

A Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and the CFO of a Fortune 500 company are among several speakers announced to address students at commencement ceremonies this May and June.

Singer-songwriter Lila Downs will address graduates from the School of New Learning. Downs’ body of work consists of 11 albums that “blends contemporary and traditional Latin music to create her own unique style,” according to a university press release. Downs has won a Grammy Award and two Latin Grammy Awards.

Coca-Cola CFO Kathy Waller will speak to students in the Driehaus College of Business. Waller has spent nearly 30 years at the beverage industry giant and is responsible for overseeing the company’s multi-billion dollar operating revenue.

The other speakers are lawyer and refugee advocate Edwin Silverman, who will address the College of Law; NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez, speaking to the College of Education; theater writer/director Todd London, addressing both the School of Music and The Theatre School; social justice advocate Marty Castro, speaking to both the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Health; and techie Kerrie Holley, addressing the College of Communication and the College of Computing and Digital Media.

Past speakers have included filmmaker Jon Favreau, PR mogul Richard Edelman and Hyatt Hotel chairman Thomas Pritzker.

The university will host commencement ceremonies for nearly 6,400 graduates on May 15 and June 11-12.

College of Law

May 15, 1:30 p.m., Rosemont Theatre

Speaker: Edwin Silverman

College of Education

June 11, 8:30 a.m., Rosemont Theatre

Speaker:  Claudio Sanchez

School of Music and The Theatre School

(Combined ceremony)

June 11, noon, Rosemont Theatre

Speaker: Todd London

School for New Learning

June 11, 3 p.m., Rosemont Theatre

Speaker: Lila Downs

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Health

(Combined ceremony)

June 12, 8 a.m., Allstate Arena

Speaker: Marty Castro

College of Communication and the College of Computing and Digital Media

(Combined ceremony)

June 12, 12:30 p.m., Allstate Arena

Speaker: Kerrie Holley

Driehaus College of Business

June 12, 4:30 p.m., Allstate Arena

Speaker:  Kathy Waller