The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 13.
Berklee College of Music will present honorary degrees to three artists at its 2023 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, at 10:00 a.m. at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. Eight-time Grammy Award winner Usher, four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Roberta Flack, and one of the foremost kora players in the world, Sona Jorbarteh, will receive honorary Doctor of Music degrees. Each will have an opportunity to address the graduating class of 2023.
Commencement festivities will begin on the evening of Friday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. with a reception and concert at Agganis Arena. The concert will feature a global cast of over 200 student vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, arrangers, and track producers from the graduating class, who will perform a musical tribute to the work of each of the honorees.
This year’s honorary doctorate recipients will be celebrated and recognized for their invaluable contributions to the worlds of music and philanthropy. Past recipients from the college include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones ’51, Celine Dion, B.B. King, Joni Mitchell, Chaka Khan, esperanza spalding B.M. ’05, Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, and John Legend.