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Manuel Heitor received honorary Doctor of Science and Technology from CMU

On Friday, May 13th, Manuel Heitor received an honorary Doctor of Science and Technology degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He also delivered the keynote address at the Commencement ceremony for 2020, 2021, and 2022 master’s and doctoral degree graduates.

Manuel Heitor has served as Portugal’s Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education between 2015- 2022 and as the Portuguese Secretary of State of Science, Technology and Higher Education between 2005-2011. Heitor has been a longtime supporter of the CMU Portugal Program and of all its initiatives, strengthening the relationship between Carnegie Mellon and the Portuguese scientific and innovation ecosystem throughout the years.

Manuel Heitor’s commencement speech, titled “Your choice, you and the others: Networks of Opportunity and our common goods in times of uncertainty”, highlighted the importance of always being a learner, a motto that he adopted during his career. Manuel Heitor conveyed three main messages to the recent graduates:

  1. Keep learning, by being ambitious and innovative. Change the world, making use of your knowledge, but guaranteeing that all others are also ambitious and innovative
  2. Keep learning, by being responsible, green, and inclusive across all disciplines. Understand emerging collective behaviors and our common responsibility to secure the life of future generations in times of emerging decentralized digital networks and AI-enabled innovations
  3. Keep learning, by being human and fostering solidarity: your choice, your body, your mind with your knowledge and our common scientific understanding, guaranteeing that all others have the same opportunities for their own choices and their own bodies

“[You should] guarantee that your parents and the parents of your friends really don’t understand what you are doing,” Heitor told the graduates. “[This] is probably the best indicator of progress in any society. It means each generation explores new things and has the collective opportunities to do so. It is a generational changing movement in a dynamic and continuously learning environment.”

Manuel Heitor, May 13th, 2022

CMU President Farnam Jahanian conferred 5,364 degrees for the Class of 2022 and congratulated alumni from 2021 and 2020 who returned to CMU to participate in person after their respective commencement ceremonies were virtual or altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the CMU Portugal delegation visiting CMU in honor of Commencement also participated in the ceremony as faculty, including Joana Mendonça, Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, and President of ANI; Valentina Nisi, Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Tecnico; Pedro Russo, Assistant Professor at Leiden University and Ciência Viva Board Member; and Nuno Nunes, Full professor at Instituto Superior Técnico and the President of the Interactive Technologies Institute (ITI)  and National Co-Director of the CMU Portugal Program. The Portuguese delegation was completed by Pedro Conceição,  Director, UNDP; Rosalia Vargas, President Ciência Viva; Sílvia Castro, CMU Portugal Executive Director;  and guests Teresa Heitor, Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico and Joana Valsassina, Curator. 

The Commencement Ceremony video for Master’s and Doctoral Graduates, including Manuel Heitor’s speech is now available. The full text of Manuel Heitor’s speech is available here. 

The recording includes footage of pre-show videos and the processional (the beginning of the ceremony at min 0:47:00; awarding of the honorary degree, followed by Heitor’s address at 1:16:00)