Neil Portnow, Lucinda Williams, Lionel Richie Earn Honorary Berklee Degrees

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• May 15, 2017 •

Pictured (L-R): Todd Rundgren, Berklee senior vice president for academic affairs and provost Lawrence J. Simpson, Lionel Richie, Neil Portnow, Shin Joong Hyun, Lucinda Williams, and Berklee President Roger H. Brown. Photo: Dave Green

NARAS president/CEO Neil Portnow, singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, and entertainer Lionel Richie were among those who received honorary doctor of music degrees during Berklee’s 2017 commencement. Berklee President Roger H. Brown also presented multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren and guitarist/singer-songwriter Shin Joong Hyun with honorary doctoral degrees.

Rundgren delivered the commencement address to the graduating class and an estimated audience of nearly 7,000 guests at the Agganis Arena. The event also featured surprise performances from Williams, who sang “When I Look at the World,” and from Joong Hyun, who performed a variation of “Autumn Leaves” on guitar.

More than 1,000 graduates from 71 countries and 40 U.S. States received degrees during the commencement.

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Jessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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