October 17, 2008

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr. to Speak at 174th Commencement

Renowned pediatric neurosurgeon is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Turner Network Television will present an original movie, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, based on his inspiring memoir

World-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr. will be the principal speaker at Lafayette’s 174th Commencement on Saturday, May 23, 2009, and will be awarded an honorary degree.

Information for parents on Commencement
“I’m delighted that Dr. Carson will address our graduates and parents at Commencement,” says President Daniel H. Weiss. “He is one of the world’s leading figures in his field, and the story of his rise to the top of his profession is an inspiring testimony to the power of the human spirit.”

Carson is director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, a position he has held since 1984 when, at the age of 33, he became the youngest physician ever at Johns Hopkins to head a major division.

Carson operates on more than 300 children each year. He is sought around the world for his innovative and groundbreaking neurosurgeries, which include separating conjoined twins and hemispherectomies, surgeries in which a portion of the brain is removed to stem intractable seizures in children.

In June, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Bush in a ceremony at the White House. Earlier this year, in February, President Bush presented Carson the Lincoln Medal, awarded by the Ford Theatre to individuals who exemplify the accomplishments and character of Abraham Lincoln.

In 2000, the Library of Congress presented Carson with its Living Legend Award in connection with its bicentennial celebration; in 2004, President Bush appointed him to serve on the President’s Council on Bioethics; and in 2006, the NAACP awarded him its highest honor, the Spingarn Medal.

Carson’s first three books, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story; Think Big; and The Big Picture, all became best-sellers. Turner Network Television will present an original movie, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, based on his inspiring memoir. The film is now in production.
Carson’s latest book is Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk, published this year. He also has authored more than 100 neurosurgical publications.

Having risen from poverty to achieve personal and professional success, Carson has dedicated himself to providing opportunity and motivation to young people. He and his wife, Candy, founded the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994. The non-profit charity recognizes and rewards students in grades 4-11 who strive for academic excellence and demonstrate a strong commitment to their community. He also co-founded Angels of the OR, which provides grants to assist families with non-covered medical care expenses involving both adult and pediatric neurosurgery.

Carson is co-director of Johns Hopkins’ Craniofacial Center and a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics. In May, he was named inaugural recipient of the Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N., Professorship in Pediatric Neurosurgery. Carson earned his M.D. at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University.

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