Commencement 2024 Honorees Announced

Honorees are Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd; attorney Josh Koskoff, JD ’94, who has won record settlements for families of mass shooting victims; and Robert Wolf, presidential advisor and former CEO of UBS Americas

On Sunday, May 19, Suffolk University will award honorary degrees to three distinguished leaders in law, public safety, and business at the 2024 Commencement ceremonies

The honorary degree candidates are Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd; plaintiff attorney Josh Koskoff, JD ’94, who successfully sued Remington and right-wing radio host Alex Jones on behalf of families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting; and Robert Wolf, a presidential advisor and the former chairman/CEO of UBS Americas and president/COO of UBS Investment Bank who has held appointments under President Biden and President Obama.

Image shows side-by-side headshots of Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, Josh Koskoff and Robert Wolf
2024 Commencement speakers Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, Josh Koskoff, JD ’94, and Robert Wolf

The 2024 ceremonies will be held outdoors at the Leader Bank Pavilion. Wolf will deliver the Commencement address for the Sawyer Business School at the 9 a.m. combined undergraduate and graduate ceremony, while Chief Justice Budd will address the College of Arts & Sciences combined ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Koskoff will speak at the Law School’s 5:30 p.m. ceremony. 

“Each in their own fields, our three honorary degree candidates have demonstrated bold, principled leadership, as well as the kind of deep civic engagement that Suffolk seeks to instill in its graduates,” said Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly. “We are honored they will be part of our Commencement ceremonies and are excited to hear what they have to share.”

Speaker Biographies

College of Arts & Sciences

Chief Justice Kimberly Budd

Kimberly Budd has served as the 38th chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court since December 2020. She is the first Black woman to hold this position, as well as the youngest chief justice in Massachusetts in more than 100 years. 

She was appointed as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court by Governor Deval Patrick in 2009; in 2016 Governor Charlie Baker nominated her to serve as an associate justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. 

Chief Justice Budd started her career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Joseph P. Warner of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She then worked as a litigation associate at the Mintz law firm, before serving as an assistant US attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in the major crimes and drug units. She later served as a university attorney for Harvard University in the General Counsel’s Office and as director of the community values program at Harvard Business School. 

Chief Justice Budd also teaches in Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and Bar Association programs, is a former adjunct instructor at New England Law, and has taught trial advocacy at Harvard Law School. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Headshot of Chief Justice Kimberly Budd
Chief Justice Kimberly Budd

Suffolk University Law School

Josh Koskoff

Attorney Josh Koskoff, JD ’94, specializes in medical malpractice, wrongful death and other complex personal injury and public interest cases in Connecticut and is a member of the Suffolk Law Dean’s Cabinet. 

In 2014, Koskoff filed a landmark case against gun manufacturer Remington, the company that made and marketed the AR-15 weapon used in the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012. Initially given little chance to succeed by legal experts, Koskoff was able to find a way through the federal immunity enjoyed by the gun industry, ultimately winning a settlement of $73 million dollars— the first time in American history that a gun company has been held to account for a mass shooting. 

Koskoff—along with two partners at his firm of Koskoff, Koskoff, and Bieder—also represented Sandy Hook families against Alex Jones, the controversial InfoWars founder who claimed that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged and the grieving families were actors. In October 2022, Koskoff and his team obtained a verdict totaling close to $1.5 billion against Jones—the largest verdict in Connecticut history and the largest defamation verdict in American history. 

Koskoff holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Syracuse University and a law degree from Suffolk University.

Headshot of Josh Koskoff wearing a white shirt and blue jacket
Josh Koskoff, JD ’94

Sawyer Business School

Robert Wolf

Robert Wolf is the founder of 32 Advisors, a holding company that includes the direct investing arm 32 Ventures and advisory services for corporate clients, and is chair of the AI-driven messaging software platform Community. Previously, he served as the chair and CEO of the global financial services firm UBS Americas and the president and COO of UBS Investment Bank.

In November 2022, Wolf was appointed by President Biden to the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board. He previously held three presidential appointments under President Obama: as a member of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and the Export Council. He also served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Border Infrastructure Task Force. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Obama Foundation, on the alumni board of the Wharton School, and on the leadership council of NYC’s Robin Hood Foundation, and formerly served as vice chair of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.

Wolf has served as a contributor to Fox News/Fox Business since 2016 and has been named multiple times to Worth Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful People in Finance.

Wolf holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While at UPenn, he played on the varsity football team that won Ivy League championships in both the 1982 and 1983 seasons.

Robert Wolf smiling while seated on a stage next to an American flag
Robert Wolf

Media Contact

Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs
[email protected]