BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University will award three honorary degrees over the course of its commencement celebrations scheduled for May 19-20. 

Honorary doctorates will be awarded during the May 20 undergraduate ceremonies to healthcare policymaker Mary Wakefield, composer and author Steve Karmen, and alumnus and real estate investment manager Paul Turovsky.

Wakefield, who will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, will speak at the 8:30 a.m. Harpur College of Arts and Sciences ceremony, Karmen will receive the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts and speak at the professional schools’ ceremony at noon, and Turovsky, who will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, will speak at the 3:30 p.m. Harpur College ceremony.

Mary Wakefield

One of the nation’s foremost authorities on rural health and healthcare policy, Wakefield is administrator of the $7.5 billion Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. She oversees about 7,000 community clinics that focus on improving access to healthcare services for the uninsured, underserved and special needs populations. The agency also funds 3,000 grants for programs across the country, including ones that support Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing educational programs.

She has also contributed to Medicare payment policy, workforce issues and public policy debates. Wakefield was also named by President Obama to the U.S. Delegation of the 63rd World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization in 2010.

Wakefield earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mary College in Bismarck, N.D., and her master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds certification as a registered nurse and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FANN).

Steve Karmen

Karmen is an innovative and groundbreaking composer and author who has set the bar for others in the advertising industry. Most famous for writing more than 2,000 advertising jingles including the New York State song, “I Love New York”, “Trust the Midas Touch”, “Nationwide is on your side”, “Hershey is the Great American Chocolate Bar”, the Budweiser Clydesdale theme “Here Comes the King” and many others, he is a self-taught musician.

Dubbed the “King of the Jingle” by People magazine, Karmen has won 16 Clio Awards − the highest honor for advertising media. In 2007, he was named the Outstanding New Yorker of the Year by the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE).

A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, he quit a pre-med program at New York University to pursue a music career, performing first with his high-school friend Bobby Darin. He also acted for a time, before turning to work scoring films. Karmen wrote his first advertising jingle for Salem cigarettes in 1967, and his jingle career began. He has written several books about commercial advertising and a memoir of his friendship and work with Bobby Darin.

Paul Turovsky

Founding principal of real estate investment management firm True North Management Group, Turovsky earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Binghamton University, and both his master’s degree in Latin American history and his doctorate in economic history from the University of California at Los Angeles.

He manages over $500 million in assets for institutional investors for True North, a privately held firm founded in 2004, and headquartered in White Plains, N.Y. In the past, Turovsky has been a managing director of Deutsche Bank Securities and Fund Manager for DB Real Estate’s Mezzanine Investment Funds. He has also worked for Bankers Trust’s Real Estate Investment Banking Group.

Recipient of the 2010 Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus Award for service to the University community and the 1999 Harpur College Alumni Award, Turovsky is chair of the Binghamton University Foundation Board of Directors, vice president of the BUF Housing Corporation and chair of Binghamton University’s $95 million fundraising campaign Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton – the Campaign for Binghamton University, which has surpassed its goal.

Turovsky has volunteered at the Metro New York Career Fair, is a member of the University’s Leadership Society, a Friend of Harpur College, a member of the Harpur Advisory Board, on the Leadership Gift Solicitation Team for the current campaign and a Pegasus Society member. His gifts to the University have supported the Jean-Pierre Mileur Faculty Development Fund for Harpur College, the Lois B. DeFleur Faculty Prize for Academic Achievement and the greatest needs for the campus.

Overall, Binghamton University will confer close to 3,300 degrees for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral candidates during Commencement ceremonies.

The 2012 Commencement ceremonies schedule:

Saturday, May 19

5 p.m. 

The Graduate School (Masters and Doctoral candidates)

Events Center

Sunday, May 20

12 p.m.
Professional Schools
(College of Community and Public Affairs, Decker School of 
Nursing, School of Management and Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science)

Events Center

8:30 a.m.
Harpur College of Arts and Sciences (morning ceremony)

Events Center

3:30 p.m. 

Harpur College of Arts and Sciences (afternoon ceremony)

Events Center


Recognition ceremonies:

A full schedule of recognition ceremonies for individual schools and residence communities is planned for Saturday, May 19:

8:30 a.m.
Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
 - Division of Humanities

Events Center

9:00 a.m. 

College of Community and Public Affairs

Osterhout Concert Theater
, Anderson Center

8:30 a.m. 

Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science

West Gym

11 a.m. 

Harpur College of Arts and Sciences - 
Division of Sciences & Mathematics

Events Center

1 p.m. 

Decker School of Nursing

Osterhout Concert Theatre, Anderson Center

1:30 p.m. 

School of Management

West Gym - reception: 12:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
Harpur College of Arts and Sciences - 
Division of Social Sciences

Events Center                                   

3:30 p.m. 

Educational Opportunity Program

Watters Theater, Anderson Center

Residential Communities:

4 p.m. 

CIW Dining Hall

4 p.m. 


Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center - Dickinson Dining Room

4 p.m. 

Hillside and Susquehanna

Hillside Commons

4 p.m. 


Hinman Dining Hall

4 p.m. 

Appalachian Dining Hall

4 p.m.

Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center, Room 114