Ted Koppel and Martha Coakley to Speak at Commencement


Award-winning journalist Ted Koppel and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will be the speakers at Suffolk University's commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, 2009, at the Bank of America Pavilion on Boston’s waterfront.

Coakley and Koppel will be among nine honorary degree recipients at commencement.

The Law School ceremonies will be held at 9:30 a.m., with Coakley speaking. Koppel will address the College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer Business School ceremonies at 2 p.m.

Ted Koppel is a senior news analyst for National Public Radio and a contributing analyst for BBC America’s World News America. From 2006 to 2008, Koppel served as Discovery Channel’s managing editor and anchored Koppel on Discovery, a series that examined major global topics and events. Koppel spent the first 42 years of his career at ABC News. From 1980 until 2005, he was the anchor and managing editor of ABC News Nightline, one of the most honored broadcasts in television history. A member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Koppel has won every major broadcasting award, including 42 Emmy Awards (one for lifetime achievement), eight George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 duPont-Columbia Awards, and two George Polk Awards. His 10 Overseas Press Club Awards make him the most honored journalist in the club’s history. He will receive the honorary Doctor of Journalism degree at the afternoon ceremony.

Coakley began her legal career in 1979, practicing civil litigation with the firm of Parker, Coulter, Daley & White and later at Goodwin Procter LLP, both in Boston.  She joined the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in 1986 as an assistant district attorney in the Lowell District Court office.  Coakley served on the U.S. Justice Department’s Boston Organized Crime Strike Force for two years. After returning to the District Attorney's Office, she was appointed chief of the Child Abuse Prosecution Unit. Coakley investigated and prosecuted hundreds of cases of both physical and sexual abuse of children, including Commonwealth v. Louise Woodward.  In 1998, Coakley was elected Middlesex District Attorney.  During her eight years as district attorney, she established herself as a passionate advocate for public safety.  She was elected attorney general in 2006. Coakley will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the morning ceremony.

In addition to Coakley and Koppel, the following will receive honorary degrees at commencement:

  • Hon. Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York, honorary Doctor of Laws
  • Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, honorary Doctor of Laws
  • U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, honorary Doctor of Laws
  • Peter Brooke, Advent International Corporation chairman and CEO, honorary Doctor of Commercial Science
  • Angela Diaz, MD, MPH, director of Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and Jean C. and James W. Crystal professor of Pediatrics at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, honorary Doctor of Science
  • David Hoberman, Manderville Films, honorary Doctor of Humanities
  • Josh McCall, chairman and CEO of Jack Morton Worldwide, honorary Doctor of Commercial Science

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Greg Gatlin

Mariellen Norris