The University Record, November 20, 2000

Leonard is commencement speaker

By Mary Jo Frank
Office of the Vice President for Communications

Novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard will give the commencement address at winter commencemen t Dec. 17.

The Regents voted at their Nov. 16 meeting to present honorary degrees to Leonard; Lin Ju Ying, honorary president of the Chinese Nursing Association; and John L. Tishman, chair and chief executive officer of Tishman Realty & Construction Co. Inc. of New York City.

Renée Leslie Safra, an LS&A honors student majoring in economics, will give remarks on behalf of the students.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in Crisler Arena. Some 2,000 students on the Ann Arbor campus expect to receive degrees this winter.

Leonard, who earned a bachelor of philosophy degree in English from the University of Detroit in 1950, recently published his 36th novel, Pagan Babies. A Bloomfield Hills resident, he began his literary career in Detroit, writing Western short stories and novels in his spare time while working full-time as an advertising copywriter and scriptwriter for industrial and educational films. The Bounty Hunters (1953 and reprinted in 1985) was the first of Leonard’s eight westerns. The Western Writers of America selected Leonard’s Hombre (1961) as one of the best 25 Western novels of all time. Leonard’s other honors include the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for LaBrava (1983), the Michigan Foundation of the Arts Award in 1985 and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award in 1992.

Renowned for his crime fiction, Leonard endows his stories with depth and insight into contemporary American life. With his finely tuned ear for the nuances of the spoken word, Leonard creates lean, authentic-sounding dialogue to advance complicated plots. Among Leonard’s best known crime novels are The Big Bounce (1969), 52 Pick-Up (1974), City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit (1980), Stick (1983), Glitz (1985), Freaky Deaky (1988), Get Shorty (1990), Rum Punch (1992), Out of Sight (1996) and Cuba Libre (1998). Many of his novels have been made into movies or screenplays for television.

“Elmore Leonard, who combines the meticulous research of a scholar with the touch of a poet in portraying ordinary people in extraordinary and sometimes astonishing situations, is a generous and treasured presence in the Hopwood Awards and Michigan Journalism Fellows programs,” said Charles B. Eisendrath, director of the Michigan Journalism Fellows Program. “He is one of the most prominent authors in America, and we are fortunate to be in his orbit.”

Lin Ju Ying, a 1941 graduate from Peking Union Medical College, is known as “China’s Florence Nightingale.” She began her career as a school nurse and went on to become dean of the School of Nursing at Beijing Hospital and director of the National Nursing Centre of China. Lin was a representative to the Third Beijing People’s Congress in China in 1951–53 and a delegate to the All-China Women’s Federation in 1980–84.

Recipient of the International Red Cross’ Nightingale Prize, Lin has devoted her life to improving health care and to promoting the education and professional standing of nurses in China. She has advanced community-based health care in her own country and around the world. For two decades, Lin has played a leadership role in the Chinese Nursing Association and has helped shape China’s health policies, including successfully lobbying for the re-opening of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education in key medical universities in China. She established and was the first director of the Institute for Nursing, a national entity for nursing scholarship.

As president and past-president of the association, Lin has promoted the education and professional standing of nurses and mentored a new generation of nursing leadership in China, noted School of Nursing Dean Ada Sue Hinshaw. “She was a leader in safeguarding professional standards of excellence during times of turmoil in China. After the Cultural Revolution, officials turned to Madame Lin for advice. She promoted the development of scientific and educational endeavors in Chinese nursing.”

Lin is a consultant to the School of Nursing’s Kellogg Foundation-funded Community-based International Learning Program. She has authored or edited a number of books about nursing, including an encyclopedia of nursing science, as well as textbooks on nursing theory, management and administration, and community health nursing.

John L. Tishman, one of the United States’ most influential builders, graduated from the U-M in electrical engineering in 1946. He taught math and physics before joining his family’s business. Through his 50-year career there, he became recognized as an expert in the execution of complex, large-scale projects, particularly those incorporating state-of-the-art technology, utilizing innovative construction methods or involving the application of new financing strategies.

Under his leadership, Tishman Realty & Construction was the first American real estate and construction firm to establish a research division devoted to creating new building products, techniques and systems. Tishman innovations—such as prefabricated facades for high-rise buildings and electronic lighting controls—have become industry standards.

Perhaps Tishman’s greatest contribution to building in general is his creation of the fast-track construction management approach, which facilitates the overlapping of design and construction to save time and money. He first applied the concept to the building of Madison Square Garden in New York.

Using construction management, Tishman built the first three buildings 100 stories and above in the world—the John Hancock Center in Chicago and the twin, 110-story towers of the World Trade Center in New York. He also managed construction for Disney’s $1-billion EPCOT Center in Florida, and the renovation and restoration of the landmark Carnegie Hall in New York.

“In his 25 years as chairman of Tishman Realty & Construction, John Tishman has been the prime motivating force behind his company’s commanding role in the advancement of modern building techniques and technology,” said Stephen W. Director, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. “His leadership and pioneering efforts in construction management and fast-track building techniques have changed the way in which buildings are designed, built and operated, resulting in safer, more efficient and environmentally sensitive structures.”

Tishman, who received the College of Engineering’s Alumni Society Medal in 1998 for his professional achievements, also is known for his humanitarian contributions. He chairs the Board of Trustees for the New School University in New York and serves on the Board of Directors of Carnegie Hall. He helped establish Camp Central Park, a summer educational outreach program for youth, and has served on the boards of the Ronald McDonald House, New York Medical Center and Pratt Institute. Tishman has been named a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy and has received the Historic Business Achievement Award from the Museum of the City of New York.

Winter commencement tickets will be distributed 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Dec. 11–14 in the Pond Room, Michigan Union. Up to six tickets per graduating student will be distributed. Extra tickets, if available, will be distributed 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

On commencement day, families and guests should enter Crisler Arena through the concourse level doors and are asked to be seated by 1:50 p.m. Graduating students, who will enter through the tunnel entrance, also should be seated by 1:50 p.m.

The ceremony will be broadcast on U-M Public Television (WFUM-TV 28 in Flint) and over

MediaOne on UMTV Cable Channel 22 in the greater Ann Arbor area. Ceremonial coverage also will be Webcast at