Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown will present Smokey Robinson, Linda Ronstadt, Berklee alumnus Juan Luis Guerra, and producer/sound engineer George Massenburg with honorary doctor of music degrees at Berklee College of Music’s commencement on Saturday, May 9, at 10 a.m. in the Agganis Arena at Boston University. Commencement speaker Smokey Robinson will address more than 850 Berklee graduates and invited guests at the 7,000-seat venue.
This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influence in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Dizzy Gillespie, Patti LaBelle, Steven Tyler, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, The Edge, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Michel Camille, Chaka Khan, Loretta Lynn, Quincy Jones, Bonnie Ratite and Hamlet Oregon.
On commencement eve, as is Berkley’s tradition, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with Robinson, Ronstadt, Guerra and Massenburg at the Agganis Arena. The commencement concert and ceremony are not open to the public.