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Actor Ted Danson to receive honorary degree at Carnegie Mellon University’s graduation

April 7, 2018 GMT

Dr. Sam Malone?

Ted Danson, star of the long-running sitcom “Cheers,” will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University’s graduation ceremony in May.

Danson, a CMU alumnus, will join a Nobel laureate, a Turing Award winner, one of the world’s most influential investors and more than 5,600 graduates at CMU’s commencement ceremony May 20.

David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, a top hedge fund, will be the keynote speaker and receive an honorary doctor of business practice degree.

“Carnegie Mellon University is a world-class institution shaping future leaders in business, technology, and the arts,” Tepper said in a statement. “The education CMU offers is truly unique, and I look forward to addressing the university’s proud and promising new graduates in the spring.”

Tepper, a member of the university’s board of directors, earned his MBA at CMU in 1982 and later donated $55 million to name its business school the David A. Tepper School of Business. Tepper has donated more than $125 million to CMU, including $67 million to build the David A. Tepper Quadrangle that will open this fall.

Tepper grew up in Pittsburgh and went to University of Pittsburgh before attending CMU.

“David Tepper has contributed so much to Carnegie Mellon, our nation and the world through his leadership in business and his dedication to philanthropy,” CMU President Farnam Jahanian said in a statement.

Danson graduated from CMU’s School of Drama in 1972 and went on to win two Emmy awards and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has appeared in several other television shows and currently stars on NBC’s “The Good Place.”

Danson has been an environmental activist for oceans for more than 30 years. He co-founded the American Oceans Campaign to bring attention to oil spills, development, toxic waste, sewage and other threats to the water. His organization merged with Oceana, and in 2017, Danson was given the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shafi Goldwasser graduated from CMU in 1979 and won the Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science, in 2012 for her research in cryptography and security. Goldwasser is the director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ada Yonath won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 for research into ribosomes, tiny particles in cells. Yonath was a postdoctoral researcher at CMU in 1969. She is a professor of structural biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the director of the Kimmelman Center for Bimolecular Structure there.

Both women will received honorary doctorates of science and technology.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.