UMD Graduate School Commencement is set for 7 p.m., Thursday, May 16 in the Romano Gymnasium on the UMD campus. During the ceremony degrees will be conferred upon 140 master's degree candidates. Speaker for the event will be Regents' Professor George R. "Ripp" Rapp. An honorary Doctor of Laws Degree will be awarded by the University of Minnesota to Winona LaDuke. The honorary degree will be presented by University of Minnesota Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Christine Maziar.
Professor George R. "Ripp" Rapp
George R. "Rip" Rapp is a Regents' Professor of Geoarchaeology and director of the UMD Archaeometry Laboratory. He is a distinguished scholar in geoarchaeology, a field that he helped to create.
Professor Rapp has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to science, including the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies National Award. He also received the Pomerance Medal from the Archaeological Institute of America for Contributions to the Application of Science to Archaeology. He was the first recipient of the Archaeological Geology Award of the Geological Society of America. In 1995 he was designated a University of Minnesota Regents' Professor, the university's highest academic honor. In fall of 2000, Professor Rapp received the UMD Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Research.
For the last 33 years, Professor Rapp's primary area of research has been in major geoarchaeological and archaeological excavations and surveys around the world. His major surveys include Messenia in Greece and Anyang in China, with major excavations in Greece, Israel and Cyprus.
Currently he is the director of the geologic explorations to locate the buried capital of the Shang Dynasty in China, the co-director of the American/Chinese project at Anyang, China, and the co-director of the Egyptian Eastern Desert Project.
He is a charter member of the Society of Professional Archaeologists and twice served as a member of its Board of Directors. He is also a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, he is past president of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the Association for Field Archaeology, and the Society for Archaeological Sciences.
Winona LaDuke is an Ojibwe/Anishinaabe who lives on the White Earth Reservation in western Minnesota. In 1982, she received a bachelor's degree in native economic development from Harvard University, and in 1989 she received a master's degree in rural development from Antioch College. She has written two books, All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life and Last Standing Woman, and she was named Woman of the Year by Ms. magazine in 1994 and one of America's most promising leaders under 40 years of age by Time magazine in 1995.
She has served as a school principal at Circle of Life on the White Earth Reservation and is the founder and executive director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. She is the founder of the Women of All Red Nations organization and is the founder and board co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA and is program director for Honor the Earth Fund. She was a candidate for vice president of the United States on the Green Party's ticket during the 2000 and 1996 campaigns.
The honorary Doctor of Laws Degree is the highest award conferred by the University of Minnesota, recognizing individuals who have achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public service, or in a field of knowledge and scholarship.