Honorary Degree Recipients & Speaker
Commencement is Monday, May 13, 2019. Updates for 2019 will be made beginning in January.
2018 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients
Michael Dubin, co-founder and CEO of Dollar Shave Club, will deliver the keynote address at Emory University's 173rd commencement ceremony Monday, May 14. He also will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Dubin, an Emory alumnus, is a creative entrepreneur, executive and trailblazing brand-builder. Under Dubin’s leadership, Dollar Shave Club revolutionized the razor industry, growing to become the second-largest men’s razor seller in the U.S. The company was acquired by Unilever in July of 2016 for $1 billion in one of the largest deals in ecommerce history.
He has been recognized by Ernst & Young as the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year, in Fortune’s 40 Under 40, and in Business Insider’s 30 Most Creative People in Advertising.
Dubin, who received a BA degree in history from Emory, was the keynote speaker at the first Emory Entrepreneurship Summit, organized and hosted by Goizueta Business School in April, 2015. He was an inaugural recipient of the Emory Alumni Association 40-Under-Forty Alumni Recognition Program in 2017.
Dubin began his career as an NBC page, followed by an editorial stint at MSNBC. He then transitioned to digital marketing, developing custom content for brand advertisers including Gatorade and video game company EA, and on behalf of properties such as Time Inc. and SI.com. Just before founding Dollar Shave Club, Dubin worked in the video seeding space, creating and driving engagement to branded content made by companies including LG, Ford, Capital One and Taco Bell.
Dubin is passionate about content, comedy and entertainment and studied improv and sketch comedy for more than eight years at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York.
Honorary degree recipients
Emory will confer honorary degrees to three other individuals at the commencement ceremony:
- Bill Bolling, founder of the Atlanta Food Bank. Bolling led the organization’s distribution of more than half a billion pounds of food and grocery products through a network of more than 600 local and regional partner nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry across 29 Georgia counties. As a charter member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks, Bolling was instrumental in the start-up of food banks across the country.
- Carmen de Lavallade, artist of dance, theater, film and television. Her dance career includes having ballets created for her by Lester Horton, Geoffrey Holder, Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley, John Butler and Agnes de Mille. De Lavallade was the principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera and a guest artist with the American Ballet Theater. She has choreographed for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Metropolitan Opera.
- Gay J. McDougall, human rights lawyer who confronted apartheid in South Africa. McDougall was one of five international members of the South African governmental body established through the multi-party negotiations to set policy and administer the country’s first democratic, non-racial elections in 1994, resulting in the election of President Nelson Mandela and the transition from apartheid. McDougall served as the first United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues from 2005 through 2011.