C.L. Max Nikias, Ph.D., President, University of Southern California, received the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at HUC-JIR’s Graduation Ceremony in Los Angeles. The convocation took place at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Jack H. Skirball Campus (3077 University Avenue) on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 3 pm.
Nikias presented the address during Graduation. Click here to read his speech.
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR, states, "Dr. Nikias's administrative gifts and vision have been utilized innovatively in university life. As an eloquent spokesman for the University of Southern California, and a long-standing, esteemed partner with HUC-JIR, he has provided dynamic leadership to numerous civic, national, and international councils and boards."
Nikias became the University of Southern California's eleventh president on August 3, 2010. He is the holder of USC's Robert C. Packard President's Chair and the Malcolm R. Currie Chair in Technology and the Humanities.
Dr. Nikias served as USC's provost and chief academic officer from 2005 to 2010, a time during which USC cemented its status as the nation's fastest-rising research university. He earned accolades for his leadership, inventiveness, and fundraising, as well as his passion for the arts and humanities and his ability to build partnerships among varied constituencies.
As president, Dr. Nikias has committed to establishing USC as a major engine of American economic, cultural and social development; as a preeminent global American university and a dynamic crossroads within an emerging Pacific era; as a top center for academic medicine; and as a world leader in innovations that are fueled by the creative encounter of a vast range of disciplines.
Prior to serving as USC's provost, he spent four years as dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, strengthening its position as a top-tier engineering school through groundbreaking academic programs and prolific fundraising. As a member of USC's faculty since 1991 and also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Nikias has been recognized worldwide for his pioneering research on digital signal processing, digital media systems, and biomedicine. Several of his patents have been incorporated in sonar and radar systems by the U.S. Department of Defense.
HUC-JIR enjoys a unique partnership with USC, by which over 600 USC undergraduate students study Jewish studies with HUC-JIR faculty in HUC-JIR's Louchheim School of Judaic Studies annually. Students in HUC-JIR's School of Jewish Nonprofit Management have the opportunity to pursue dual degrees at USC's School of Social Work, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Annenberg School of Communication, Marshall School of Business, and Roski School of Fine Arts. HUC-JIR is a partner with USC in the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement.
Click here to view the National 2011 Graduation/Ordination/Investiture press release.
Click here to view the invitation.