Berklee College of Music President Roger H. Brown will present Rita Moreno (The Ritz, West Side Story), Ronald and Ernie Isley, Lucian Grainge and Milton Nascimento with honorary doctor of music degrees at Berklee's commencement ceremony May 7 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University.
Moreno, this year’s commencement speaker, will address more than 900 Berklee graduates and their parents and invited guests.
This year's honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized “for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture,” according to a press release. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Loretta Lynn, Juan Luis Guerra, Annie Lennox, Paco de Lucia, Carole King, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, George Clinton, Julio Iglesias, Plácido Domingo and A.R. Rahman.
On commencement eve, May 6, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with their careers at the Agganis. The concert and ceremony are not open to the public.
Rita Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: the Oscar, the Tony, two Emmys and a Grammy. Her credits span more than six decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Moreno has starred on Broadway and London’s West End, appeared in more than 40 feature films and countless television shows, and has performed in numerous regional theatres, most recently in her one-woman show, Life Without Makeup. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, and the National Medal of Arts in 2010. She is the voice of Abuelita in the animated series Nina’s World, on NBC-TV’s Sprout Network, and is currently in production on the Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day at a Time for Netflix.