Six individuals will receive honorary degrees during USC’s 132nd commencement ceremony on May 15, 2015, in recognition of their contributions as civic, academic and arts leaders.
Michael Tilson Thomas, an award-winning conductor, pianist, composer and Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, will receive an honorary degree. Thomas has won numerous Grammy Awards. In 2009, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts. Thomas has been the music director of the San Francisco Symphony for 20 years. He founded the New World Symphony and created the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. His compositions are inspired by a range of sources, from Anne Frank’s diary to Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Thomas received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the USC Thornton School of Music and joined the faculty in 2014.