2018 Commencement Guests Announced

John Heiss to speak; Herbie Hancock, Edgar Albert Meyer, Jr., Peter Lyman Row and Joseph L. Bower to receive honorary doctorates.

New England Conservatory will confer four Honorary Degrees and will feature esteemed faculty-member John Heiss, who is celebrating his 50th year of teaching, as the keynote speaker at the 2018 Commencement.

NEC will also bestow honorary doctorates on four distinguished musicians and members of the NEC community. The recipients are: Joseph L. Bower, Herbie Hancock, Edgar Albert Meyer, Jr., and Peter Lyman Row.

In addition to Heiss, other speakers will include Kennett F. Burnes, chair of the board of trustees, Thomas Novak, Interim President, alumna speaker Ayn Inserto ’01 MM, and student speaker Rae Gallimore ’18 BM.

he 147th Commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. in NEC’s Jordan Hall. Approximately 265 students are graduating from NEC's degree, diploma, and certificate programs with Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, as well as Graduate and Artist Diplomas.

“I am honored to be a part of our commencement ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of our talented students, as they enter the next chapter of their lives,” said Thomas Novak, Interim President of New England Conservatory. “As we celebrate the Conservatory’s 150th anniversary, we are privileged to have John Heiss, one of the most beloved and influential faculty members of NEC to address the 2018 graduating class. He is a symbol of the Conservatory’s rich legacy and collaborative community.”

Commencement events: