Honorary Degree Citation
Daniel Hoffman, you are a poet of rare craft and vision, a provocative literary critic, and a beloved teacher. You bring to the study of literature, a lyric voice; and to the art of poetry, a love of history. You have published over twenty books, charting the course of the American literary tradition and enriching that tradition with your own beautiful poems. To use your own words from “Hang-Gliding” from Helicon, your work is “Carved on memory’s staff. Casting its message/In a sort of singing.”
You were born in New York City in 1923, served as an Air Force officer in World War II, and received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1947, and a Ph.D. in 1956. You then taught at Swarthmore for nine years, until you were lured away by the University of Pennsylvania, where you taught until 1996 as the Felix E. Shelling Professor of English. You introduced Penn’s first poetry workshop and later become Director of Penn’s Creative Writing Program that evolved from that workshop.
Your studies of literature include books on Paul Bunyan and Stephen Crane, and on the poetry of Yeats, Graves, and Muir; the seminal Form and Fable in American Fiction, which explores the uses of folklore and mythology in the romances of Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain; and a celebrated study of Poe, which finds his genius in his capacity to transform his own suffering into provocative paradigms of the American condition.
Your first poetic work, “An Armada of Thirty Whales,” was chosen by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series. It was followed by nine others, including, “Striking Stones,” “Broken Laws,” “Darkening Water,” and “Beyond Silence.”
Robert H. Brown
Doctor of Science
Robert H. Brown, Jr. is a processor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and is renowned for his pioneering work on the genetics of the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease-a rapidly paralyzing disorder that currently has no treatment. The first to identify an ALS gene in 1993, Brown and his associates subsequently helped to find two more ALS gene and to develop animal models of motor neurons disease.
In 1948, Brown founded Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, now an internationally recognized center for research and clinical care in this field. In addition to his work on ALS, Brown has conducted productive research on a range of diseases affecting muscles and movement and directs the hospital’s Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic.
Committed to finding effective treatments for parents as quickly as possible, Brown initiated the ALS Therapy Alliance to share scientific and medical insights into ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. His colleagues have consistently praised his dedication to direct work with patients and their support groups, balanced with the strenuous demands of his research program.
Brown’s research has been published in the most distinguished scientific journals, including Science and Nature. His work has garnered many accolades, including his inductions into the Institute of Medicine and the American Neurological Association. In 2007, Brown received the Robert Wartenberg Lecture Award from the American Academy of Neurology for excellence in clinically relevant research.
Brown graduated from Amherst in 1969, having completed an interdisciplinary biophysics major and earning the coveted Psi Upsilon First Citizen Award for the graduate pre-eminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character. In the days before combined M.D./Ph.D. programs were established, Brown completed his medical training at Harvard and went on to earn a D.Phil. at Oxford. He has worked in the Harvard medical system throughout his career, first as a neurology resident and then as a faculty member in the neurology department.
Doctor of Humane Letters
Characterized by education activist Jonathan Kozol as “one of the best friends children have, or ever will have, in our nation,” Geoffrey Canada has served as president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) since 1990. He spearheaded the implementation of an integrated set of educational, social and medical services designed to form a safety net so tightly woven that no child can fall through the cracks.
HCZ programs take a holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization, simultaneously working to diminish violence, bolster educational opportunities, strengthen parenting skills and improve health care. Promising results in the original24-square-block neighborhood enabled HCZ to extend the zone to 100 square blocks, encompassing more than 9,500 at-risk children in central Harlem. Canada’s revolutionary approach is now being replicated in cities across the country and around the world.
Canada is the author of Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, described by The New York Time as “less like a book than a bell, or a beacon” and Reaching Up for Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America. His pioneering work has been recognized with a range of prestigious awards, including the first Heinz Award in the Human Condition and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. He currently serves as the East Cost Regional Coordinator for the Black Community Crusade for Children.
Canada, the third of four brothers, was raised by his mother in the South Bronx. A 1974 graduate of Bowdoin College, Canada earned an Ed. M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education before teaching at, and later directing, a private day school serving troubled children in Boston. He returned to New York City in 1983 to direct a truancy prevention program at what would become HCZ. That same year, Canada, a third-degree black belt, founded the Chang Moo Chan Martial Arts School, where he continues to teach Tae Kwan Do and conflict resolution techniques. He is the father of our children.
Doctors of Laws
Trained as a lawyer, Mohamed ElBaradei began his career in Egypt’s diplomatic service, joining the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in 1964. ElBaradei served as special assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister for four years before joining the United Nations and becoming a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at its Institute for Training and Research. He joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Secretariat in 1984, serving as its legal advisor until 1993 and then as assistant director general for external relations. In 1997, ElBaradei was named the agency’s fourth director general and continues to serve in his third consecutive term in this capacity.
In 2005, ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to limit the use of nuclear energy to peaceful purposes and to ensure that it is used in the safest possible way. The Nobel Committee praised his commitment to promoting international cooperation as well as to tightening procedures that led to more effective inspections. In accepting the award, ElBaradei noted that “peace is not a single achievement, but it is an environment, a process and a permanent commitment.” He donated his prize funds to support orphanages in his home city of Cairo.
Under his leadership, the IAEA engaged in several high-profile nuclear investigations in Iraq, Iran and North Korea and into the nuclear black market run by one of Pakistan’s top scientists. The Agency has also worked to help developing nations employ nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes, including advances in medical care, the mapping of underground water supplies for sustainable resource management and techniques to study climate change.
ElBaradei is a 1962 graduate of Cairo University and earned a Ph.D. in International Law from the New York University School of Law in 1974. His work has garnered him international acclaim, including the Four Freedoms Award from the Roosevelt Institute, the James Park Morton Interfaith Award and the Greatest Nile Collar, the highest Egyptian civilian decoration. ElBaradei lives in Vienna with his wife, an early childhood teacher. They have two grown children.
Henry A. Freedman
Doctor of Law
Henry A. Freedman joined the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ), formerly the Welfare Law Center, in it’s infancy and has served as its executive director since 1971. The center uses a coordinate strategy of impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy and support for community organizations to effect systemic reform in the delivery of human services to low-income families and to safeguard the legal and constitutional rights of the poor.
Described by Sen. Edward Kennedy as “a shining example of how much dedicated attorneys can do to make our society truly fair and just for all our citizens,” Freedman has been at the forefront of the welfare rights movement for decades. Among the seminal cases of his career, he successfully argued Califano v. Westcott before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1979, establishing that benefits designed for unemployed parents cannot be withheld on the basis of gender.
Freedman has chaired the Committee on Legal Assistance of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and served on the New York State Department of Social Services State Advisory Council. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s Reginald Heber Smith Award for Dedicated Service, the New York State Bar Association’s Public Interest Law Award and the William Nelson Cromwell Medal of the New York County Lawyer’s Association.
A 1962 graduate of Amherst College, Freedman earned an L.L.B. from Yale Law School in 1965, where he was president of the Legal Aid Association. Before directing the NCLEJ, he was in private practice in New York City and taught at Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C. He has also taught at the Columbia and New York University law schools and the Columbia and Fordham schools of social work.
Doctor of Human Letters
Shirley Tilghman became Princeton University’s 19th president—and its first female president—in June 2001. An exceptional teacher and a world-renowned scholar and leader in the field of molecular biology, she joined the Princeton faculty in 1986 as the Howard A. Prior Professor of the Life Sciences. Under her leadership, Princeton has increased the economic diversity of its student body and increased its enrollment to spread the benefits of higher education even further.
Her scientific career yielded many groundbreaking discoveries, from early work cloning the first mammalian gene to later research at Philadelphia’s Institute for Cancer Research and as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She was named the founding director of Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, whose multidisciplinary approach grew out of Tilghman’s role as one of the architects of the national effort to map the human genome.
An Outspoken advocate for women and minorities in science, Tilghman has promoted efforts to make the early careers of all young scientist as meaningful and productive as possible. At Princeton, she initiated a postdoctoral teaching fellowship program in the sciences and has worked to increase the diversity of Princeton’s faculty and administration, enhance childcare services and provide additional flexibility in the tenure clock.
Tilghman was one of five winners of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science in 2002 and also received the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology and the 2007 Genetics Society of American Medal. Tilghman is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and is one of only 66 female Fellows of the Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of sciences.
Tilghman, a native of Canada, received her Honors B. Sc. in chemist from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, In 1968. After two years of secondary school teaching in Sierra Leone, she obtained her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Temple University. Prior to joining Princeton’s faculty, she was an independent investigator at the Institute for Cancer Research and an adjunct associate professor of human genetics and biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. Tilghman is the mother of two grown children.
Sir Brian Urquhart
Doctor of Humane Letters
orn in England in 1919, Brian Urquhart was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. As an officer in Britain’s military intelligence service during World War II, Urquhart liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Moved by the horrors he saw there and the widespread destruction wrought by the war, he dedicated his life to developing human rights into an international rule. A career spanning five decades at the United Nations taught him that “if you hold on to your belief in reason and compassion despite all political maneuvering, your efforts may, in the end, produce results.”
Immediately following the war, Urquhart served as a personal assistant to Gladwyn Jebb, the executive secretary to the Preparatory Commission, which set up the United Nations in London, and then as personal assistant to the U.N.’s first secretary-general, Trygve Lie. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, Urquhart worked in a range of capacities under Nobel laureate Ralph Bunche and was centrally involved in the conferences on peaceful uses of atomic energy, the Congo crisis in the early 1960s—where he survived being kidnapped and badly beaten by rebels in Katanga—and peacekeeping in Cyprus, Kashmir and the Middle East. Urquhart was named the undersecretary-general for special political affairs in 1974 and held the post until his retirement in 1986, after which he spent a decade as a scholar-in-residence at the Ford Foundation.
Urquhart is the author of several books, including acclaimed biographies of Dag Hammarskjöld and Ralph Bunche and an autobiography, A Life in Peace and War. His works on decolonialization and reforming the U.N. system, including most recently A World in Need of Leadership: Tomorrow’s United Nations (with Erskine Childers), have placed him at the forefront of transnational politics.
Saraswathi Vedam ’78
Doctor of Science
Currently the director of the Division of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia, Saraswathi Vedam has spent a lifetime caring for pregnant women and families in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and India. A charter member and chair of the Home Birth Section of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) Division of Standards and Practice, she developed the national clinical practice guidelines for the provision of home birth services. In 2003, she was invited as an expert consultant to the Hungarian Ministry of Health to shape national guidelines for midwifery care and home birth.
In 2002, after many years in private practice, Vedam joined the faculty at Yale University to teach nurse-midwifery students. There she developed a full-scope midwifery private practice to offer students their primary experiences with a model of continuity-of-care, out-of-hospital birth and low-intervention care. Nominated by her students, she has twice won the prestigious ACNM Excellence in Teaching Award. Vedam chaired the Yale School of Nursing’s Diversity Action Committee and served as the founding chair of the Coalition for Diversity at Yale, a university-wide interdisciplinary consortium of faculty, staff and students addressing similar issues.
Vedam is author of seminal articles on evidence-based home birth midwifery practice and is co-author of the ACNM’s Home Birth Practice Handbook. On the recommendation of her peers, she was appointed by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Board to direct the organization’s research and publications section. In 2007, she was co-host of the first Normal Birth Research conference in North America. A 1978 graduate of Amherst College with a major in English, Vedam went on to obtain a Master of Science degree in nursing and a Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery from Yale University in 1984. She is the mother of four daughters, all born at home.
Vishakha N. Desai
Doctor of Humane Letters
Vishakha Desai, your distinguished career combines a scholarly passion for Asian art with a commitment to cross-cultural dialogue in many fields, both in and with Asia. As the first woman and first Asian-American to become President and CEO of Asia Society, you are at the forefront of U.S.-Asia relations.
Nicholas M. Donofrio
Doctor of Science
Nicholas M. Donofrio, in 44 years at IBM that culminated in your role as executive vice president for innovation and technology, you have been a major architect of that extraordinary corporation. Your work also has made you an important architect to the entire landscape of information technology, an enterprise that shows no sign of slowing its transformation in the United States of America and across the world.
At the same time, you have been a much-needed model of sharp concern for advancing education and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities and woman, taking personal time each year to visit schools and make clear the benefits of math and science studies and technical careers. Over the last 19 years you help increase
Your expertise and leadership have been acclaimed worldwide, leading to memberships on the Advisory Board of Science and Technology of the Republic of China; the Australian National Information Review; the New York Academy of Sciences; the New York Hall of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; and the National Academy of Engineering. In 2005 you were appointed by the U.S. Department of Education to serve on the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a group of industry and university leaders charged with developing a new national strategy for post-secondary education.
Doctor of Humane Letters
Heraldo Muñoz, at the highest levels of government and scholarship you combine the virtues of political activist and political observer.
Your path to your present post as ambassador and permanent representative of Chili to the United Nations began when you left your birthplace in Santiago to become the first in your family to attend college. You earn a diploma in international relations with honors from the Catholic University of Chile and soon became active in the government of the socialist president Salvador-Allende. You earned your PhD in international political economy at the University of Denver, becoming one of only two students in your class to win internship at the U.S. Congress. The other winner that year, Condoleezza Rice eventually became U.S. Secretary of States.
Since then you have served your country as ambassador to the Organization of American States and to Brazil. among many other accomplishments, as Chile’s deputy minister of foreign relation you were the chief negotiator of the trade agreement between Chile and the European Union.
At the UN, you have served on the Security Council and chaired a special committee on sanction against Al Qaeda, recording your negotiations the reflections in a recent book ,A Solitary War: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of the Iraq War and its Lessons.
Very recently you are named by the UN Secretary General as chairman of the International inquiry Commission into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Doctor of Laws
Nina Totenberg, you are legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio and also a regular panelist on the weekly, syndicated public affairs television program, Inside Washington. You are one of this country’s most distinguished journalists, and have performed the great public service of helping millions of us better understand the law.
You pursued print journalism in newspapers and magazines before you literally found your voice in radio, joining National Public Radio in 1975.
In 1988 you were the first radio journalist to be awarded the Sol Taishoff Award for broadcaster of the year by The National Press Foundation. The American Bar Association has honored you no fewer than seven times for continued excellence in legal reporting. You won the award that has been called the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver baton for your coverage of Supreme Court nominations.
Perhaps most important, your clear, concise, detailed broadcasts for NPR continue to make complex Supreme Court rulings accessible and understandable to the public.
Not content with broadcasting, you have published articles in media like The New York Times MagazinesI and The Christian Science Monitor. In one of the three articles you have written for The Harvard Law Review (complete with 93 footnotes), you said of the Senators who conducted the Clarence Thomas hearings: they asked “probing but, for the most part, respectful and proper questions, and they new enough to follow up and find out what the nominee really meant in his answer.”
You are, in a word, judicious.
Doctor of Social Sciences
Yao Ming has proved himself a star both on and off the basketball court. His name and reputation are probably the most well known of any Chinese sportsman today.
Yao Ming was born in 1980 in Shanghai, already destined to become a basketball star. Both his parents were famous basketball players; both were well over six feet tall. Because of the height factor his family lived in a custom-built apartment with larger than normal door frames and wore custom made clothes and shoes. When Yao Ming was born he weighed twice the average birth weight. He grew rapidly and surpassed his parents’ height when still at school. He was clearly genetically destined by nature for stardom. Nurture also played its part. His parents instilled in him a love for and understanding of the sport; he also received special nourishing food from his mother. At his twelfth birthday his parents sent him to Shanghai’s provincial sports academy where he honed his skills by long practice and it was there that he reached his present height of seven feet four inches.
At the age of 17 he joined the Shanghai Sharks playing in the national league. He immediately displayed his star qualities and in 2001 his team secured their first championship. But by now his thoughts were turning overseas. Through television he had inevitably become enraptured by the thrills and skills of the NBA league.
It was in 1998 that scouts from America first discovered him and he was invited by Nike to attend a series of basketball camps in the USA. There then began a tug-of-war for his services between the USA teams seeking his talents and his patriotic commitment to the Chinese local league and national team. Yao Ming had first been selected for the Chinese national team in 1999, which he subsequently led to 3 consecutive FIBA Asian Championship gold medals. In 2000 he represented China in the Sydney Olympics and it was there that his impressive performance – especially against the USA team – attracted more aggressive overseas attention.
In 2002 the China Basketball Association finally agreed to release Yao Ming and he signed for Houston Rockets, becoming the first number one draft pick to come from the ranks of international recruits.
His prestigious record with the Houston Rockets is well-known. His nice-guy attitude and easy smile, combined with his immense height and lantern jaw prompted the popular press to nickname him ‘the Gentle Giant’. During his NBA career he was selected to play for the Western Conference eight times; was named in the NBA All-Star team seven times and reached the NBA play-offs on four occasions. His image was in great demand for corporate advertising and his name and face was associated with Apple Computers, Visa Card, Nike, Reebok, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds.
But he never forgot his loyalty to his motherland. He returned home on several occasions to represent the national team and at the opening of the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece he was his country’s proud flag bearer. His final Olympic appearance was, perhaps symbolically, at the Beijing Games in which he carried his country’s flag during the spectacular opening ceremony.
Alas, his large frame was – perhaps inevitably – wracked with injuries to his feet and knee which, despite several bouts of surgery, eventually put a premature end to his remarkable career. In 2011 Yao Ming announced at a press conference in Shanghai (from an extra-high lectern) his retirement from basketball.
There can be no doubt that his achievements on the basketball court both raised public awareness of basketball in China and greatly assisted in the development of the sport on the Mainland.
His early basketball career as a rookie has been documented in a film called ‘The Year of the Yao’ and he has co-written an autobiography entitled ‘Yao: A Life in Two Worlds’. Since retirement he has not totally divorced himself from basketball since 2009 he purchased his former club team, the Shanghai Sharks, which was on the verge of dissolution due to financial problems.
Mr. Chancellor, Yao Ming has made all of us very proud of his contribution as an outstanding sportsman. But he has done much more. He has at the same time dedicated himself, with his usual passion and energy, to outstanding charitable works.
Throughout his career Yao participated in many charity and community events including the ‘Basketball Without Borders’ programme and the hosting of a telethon which raised US$300,000 to help prevent the spread of SARS. He also participated in charity basketball matches to raise funds for underprivileged children in China.
Perhaps most noteworthy is his establishment of the Yao Ming Foundation in 2008 to help the lives of children in China and the USA. It has already proved to be of immense importance. For example, after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 the Foundation donated US$2 million for relief work to help rebuild schools destroyed in the earthquake.
Yao Ming has also displayed his passion for humanity in the area of HIV/AIDS. He has appeared with fellow basketball star Magic Johnson in commercials to support the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and has taken part in various high-profile activities in the Mainland including visiting children living with the disease. He has helped fight the social and cultural stigma associated with HIV/AIDS with his positive attitude and participation in their prevention and treatment and continues to advocate action, care and the full integration of sufferers into society. In 2008 he was presented with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the AIDS Response by UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
He married his long-time girlfriend and fellow basketball player Ye Li in 2007 and in 2010 their daughter Amy Yao Qinlei was born.
Yao Ming is also a keen nature conservationist. Earlier this year he began filming a documentary in Kenya about the destruction of elephants and white rhino, aimed at bringing awareness to the world, and China in particular, of the dire consequences of the illegal pouching of elephants and rhino driven by the demand for ivory and rhino horns.
Yao Ming, never resting, is now enrolled as a student at the Jiao Tong University studying finance.
Perhaps his contribution can be neatly summed up by a statement by the NBA Commissioner in response to Yao Ming’s retirement:
‘His dominant play and endearing demeanor, along with his extensive humanitarian efforts, have made him an international fan favourite and proven an extraordinary bridge between basketball fans in the US and China’.
Mr. Chancellor, it is in recognition of his contribution to sport and humanity that it is my honour and privilege to present to you Yao Ming for the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.
Henry Kar-shun CHENG
Doctor of Social Sciences
Dr. Henry Cheng is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent business leaders who achieved outstanding success in a diversified range of businesses whilst at the same time making a great contribution to good causes. In particular, spurred on by his belief that education creates lasting change to people’s lives, he has given very generous support to educational projects in both Hong Kong and the Mainland. He also has a very impressive record of generous support for the alleviation of poverty.
Henry was born in a small village in Shun Tak in Mainland China in 1946 and spent his early childhood there. He moved with his family to Hong Kong in 1953 and completed his schooling at Salesian School in Shau Ki Wan.
He then continued his studies in Canada where he received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business.
The son of Dato’ Dr. Cheng Yu Tung, Henry joined his father’s immensely prosperous New World Development Company Limited (‘New World Development’), a property development company which had been established in 1970 and listed in Hong Kong two years later. Henry was appointed a director in 1972, an executive director in 1973 and took over the role of Managing Director from his father in 1989. Henry now holds the position of Chairman and Executive Director of New World Development.
Henry also joined Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Company Limited in May 1971 serving as a director until he assumed the role of Vice-Chairman in 2007. Following the successful listing of the Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group last year, he became Chairman and Executive Director of the Group.
Henry has made strenuous efforts to diversify his company’s business pursuits especially in Mainland, China. Indeed New World Development was one of the first Hong Kong property developers to enter the Mainland market and has extended its scope of operations from first tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong to second and third tier cities such as Chengdu and Changsha.
The number of prestigious business positions he holds are truly breathtaking spanning property development, hotel management, infrastructure and the running of department stores.
It is not, however, his business acumen that we are celebrating today. We are here to give deserved recognition to his outstanding charitable work and his efforts towards fostering closer ties between Hong Kong and the Mainland.
In the latter respect in 1995 Henry was instrumental in the creation of the Better Hong Kong Foundation whose primary aim is to foster greater understanding between East and West and has been Chairman of its Advisory Council since its inception.
Investing in Mainland China and witnessing at first hand the changes in the Mainland reinforced Henry’s belief in the critical importance of education in helping China develop. He was also acutely aware of the importance of providing assistance to the underprivileged in both Hong Kong and Mainland China enabling them to rise from poverty and move up the social ladder.
Henry has put his philosophy into practice in many ways. In particular he has played and continues to play a prominent role in nurturing talent and future leaders of the society.
In 1998, in collaboration with the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, he established the Cheng Yu Tung Management Institute in Hong Kong to further exemplify his own commitment and also honour his father’s dedication to education. The institute was opened in 1998 to provide quality interactive training to outstanding business leaders across Asia.
Our University has received considerable support from the Cheng Yu Tung Foundation (‘the Foundation’). The Dr. Cheng Yu Tung Fellowships programme at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine was established in 1997 and since that time more than 250 medical professionals have benefitted from it.
Recognizing the importance of educational infrastructure, in March 2008 the Foundation made an extremely generously donation for the development of our University’s Centennial Campus as well as for academic development and research in the Faculty of Law. Henry envisages that his largesse will not only benefit the development of the Faculty, but also contribute to the maintenance of the rule of law and to our community’s prosperity in general.
Mr. Chancellor, I am happy to report that the new Centennial Campus is already in operation. The building in which the Law Faculty and indeed my own office is situated was named the Cheng Yu Tung Tower in recognition of his generous endowment by Henry’s family. I have a personal interest in both the Campus and Faculty and would like to take this opportunity to give my personal thanks to the Foundation.
Henry has been equally generous in supporting Mainland’s educational projects. He established the New World/Harvard Kennedy School of Government Fellows Programme in 1998, which subsequently earned him the Award of Yan Huang by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs in 2006.
Further, Henry joined up with Field Medalist Professor Yau Shing Tung to found the New World Mathematics Award presented every three years to outstanding mathematical students of Chinese descent.
Henry and his family’s sincere commitment to education is clear.
To quote his words:
‘Giving back to society has always been at the heart of our family. It is our commitment. We believe in education as we have witnessed how it has helped the city grow and our people rise out of poverty to enjoy a better living. We will continue to give our full support to education and grooming young people for the betterment of Hong Kong and Mainland China.’
Henry and his family are equally devoted to humanitarian causes. He donated the seed funding for the Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation in 2007 to help mobilize university students, professionals and volunteers to implement sustainable bridge projects in poor and remote areas in the Mainland. Henry’s concept is that the project not only assists villagers in rural areas but also instills in our younger generation a sense of responsibility.
In 2008, as a result of Henry’s initiative, the Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation was established. By way of funding and voluntary service he leads the Foundation in its support of a variety of charitable projects in youth education and training, medical care and furthering arts and culture in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau, the USA and other territories across the globe. He now serves as Honorary Chairman of the Foundation. He was awarded the China Charity Award in 2009 by the Ministry of Civil Affairs which is one of the highest honours bestowed by the People’s Republic of China in recognition of his diverse contributions to the Country.
More specifically Henry was most active in supporting relief work following the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Apart from making a sizeable donation on behalf of the Cheng family, he also called upon his staff of the New World Group and Chow Tai Fook to support the relief efforts by donating blood, fund raising and sending daily commodities to the affected area.
Henry was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Laws from his alma mater, the University of Western Ontario, in 1997. He is now a member of the John Harvard Fellows, a member of the Advisory Committee for Harvard Asia Center, a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Alberta in Canada and Honorary Trustee of Tsinghua University in China.
In 2001 he was awarded a Gold Bauhinia Star by the Government of the HKSAR and in 2005 the Legion of Honour by the French Government. In 2008 he was elected a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
As we have seen Henry’s great and deep involvement in education and the alleviation of poverty demonstrates how strongly he feels for the hardships endured by the underprivileged as the gap between rich and poor widens. His exemplary charitable works clearly show the commitment of Henry and his family to the betterment of both Hong Kong and the Mainland. By his works he has proved himself an admirable citizen of Hong Kong and Mainland China.
It is my honour and privilege to present to you Henry Cheng Kar Shun for the award of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.
Syed Kemal Shah BOKHARY
Doctor of Laws
Mr. Justice Syed Kemal Shah Bokhary (known to many as ‘Kemy’) has served Hong Kong with notable distinction as a barrister and judge. Indeed, he has gained the trust and admiration of all levels of society from the most elevated professionals to the man on the Shau Kei Wan tram.
Kemy’s family is most interesting. His mother Halima can trace her Hong Kong roots back to about a decade before Hong Kong became a British colony and Kemy’s grandson is now seventh generation Hong Kong!
His father, Daud Bokhary, was a native of the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan who came to Hong Kong with the British Indian Army on the first British ship to arrive after the end of the Japanese occupation. Having served in the Army as a logistics expert, he began his civilian career in Hong Kong by managing a dockside go-down. Having taken night classes at the University of Hong Kong he entered the trading floor and ran a successful brokerage business until his retirement. Fortunately for us, it was his eldest son and not Kemy who succeeded to this business.
Kemy was born in Hong Kong in 1947. Having attended King George V School, he proceeded to England to study for and pass the Bar finals and was called to the English Bar in 1970. He was called to the Hong Kong Bar the following year. He quickly established a very successful commercial and corporate litigation practice and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1983.
In 1989 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court and came to particular public attention in 1993 for his role in presiding over the inquest into the New Year’s eve stampede in Lan Kwai Fong in which 21 revellers lost their lives. He was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 1993 and in 1997, on the Handover of Hong Kong from Britain to the People’s Republic of China, he was appointed a permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal. It is there that he has made an enormous impact upon the lives of our citizens. His reputation as a judge is formidable – for his intellectual acuity, his profound compassion and his well-known sense of humor. Statistics testify that, during his 15 year tenure, he adjudicated more appeals than any of his colleagues being involved on the Bench in 95% of all appeals heard by the final appellate court during that period.
But above all he has become known for his liberal views and their forthright expression in his judicial reasoning. Indeed, because of his strong liberal views, he has delivered more dissenting judgements than any other judge of the Court of Final Appeal. In these judgements, he has made his strong views known on several important issues: his staunch support of Hong Kong’s legal autonomy and with it his opposition to seeking interpretations of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Beijing and his wholehearted espousal of human rights; in particular, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
Mr. Chancellor, I trust you will permit me to make brief mention of some of his most important judgments.
His eagerness to protect the integrity of the principle of ‘One-Country, Two Systems’ by avoiding seeking interpretations of the Basic Law from Beijing has been demonstrated on several occassions. The most recent was his dissent to inviting the Standing Committee to give an interpretation in the Congo Case – a case involving the stance Hong Kong’s courts should take to state immunity.
Another well known example is Ng Siu Tung v Director of Immigration. An Interpretation had earlier been given by Beijing as to the right of adobe of children born in Mainland China to Hong Kong parent. Kemy subsequently tried to mitigate the effect of the Interpretation by arguing that all the affected children nonetheless had a legitimate expectation that they would be permitted to live in Hong Kong. His view did not find support from the majority of the Bench, although the majority did find in favour of some of the affected children.
Kemy has known him self a passionate champion of human rights and their effect on the common man. A startling illustration is provided in a case involving ‘Long Hair’:Leung Kwok Hung v HKSAR where he ruled, by way of dissent, that the entire system which permitted the police to restrict street protest violated the constitutional protection of human right under the Basic Law.
To Kemy human right are fundamental to doing justice. In his words ‘Of the many and varied purposes for which law is made , none is more important than that of declaring, protecting and realizing the full potential of human rights’. Indeed, such rights, he maintains, cannot be compromised. As he wisely said in Prem Singh v Director of Immigration ‘To remit the maintenance of constitutional rights of the region of judicial discretion is to shift the foundations of freedom from the rock to the sand’.
There are, of course, many more illustrations of his form and compassionate views but time does not permit any further elaboration. As a result of his judgments Kemy has been describe by judicial commentators as ‘the conscience of the court’. One prominent lawyer said that ‘Mr Justice Bokahary has already became an iconic figure in the territory’s legal profession for his dedication to safeguarding human rights’.
On reaching the age of 65 Kemy retired as a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal this year but his influence will not be entirely lost as he has happily been reappointed by the Chief Executive C Y Leung as a Non-Permanent Judge of the court. Much sadness was expressed in the popular press who almost unanimously declared that Hong Kong has lost its most liberal judge.
Kemy is married to another outstanding judge, Verina Bokhary, who sits in the High Court. They have three beautiful daughters of whom they are very proud. They have all followed in their parents’ footstep becoming lawyers.
Kemy has enjoyed a very close relationship with our University over many years. He has been an active participant in our advocacy training programme and is the Honorary Patron of our Law Faculty’s Advocacy and Mooting Society. He was appointed an honorary lecturer many years ago and has recently been appointed an Honorary Professor. We keenly anticipate many more years of fruitful collaboration.
For his services to Hong Kong Kemy was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2012.
In closing I must give Kemy the last word. In a lecture given very recently at this University he said:
Human rights, as I see them, represent the minimum entitlements that people – all people – must able to demand for themselves and must accord to other in order to live and let live as human beings. These entitlements are inherent in the human person and are for the law to protect. They involve civil liberties, security of property however modest, self=expression, public participation, respect for otherness and at least a tolerable standard of living. In short, they enable each and every one of us to be ourselves and to live with human dignity.
Mr. Chancellor, it is my privilege and honour to present Mr. Justice Syed Kemal Shad Bokhary for the degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris causa.
2010 Honorary Degree Citations
Anthony S. Bryk
Trained as a chemist as an undergraduate at Boston College, Anthony S. Bryk has applied his analytical skills to become one of America’s most eminent researchers on school reform during the past 50 years.
The ninth president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, he leads one of the world’s most powerful policy research centers, which seeks to help transform the way our nation prepares its teachers and uses technology in education. His book, Catholic Schools and the Common Good, which is frequently used in sociology and education classrooms, and his newly released work, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, express his conviction that education is the key to eliminating disparities between rich and poor.
He has taught in the classrooms of Stanford, Harvard and the University of Chicago, where he founded the Center for Urban School Improvement, a vehicle to spearhead reform in the Chicago Public Schools, and the Consortium on Chicago School Research, a group charged with assessing educational progress.
In recognition of his accomplishments and legacy as a teacher and advocate for educational reform, Boston College proudly confers upon Anthony Bryk the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
Jeffrey R. Immelt
Though his tenure as CEO and chairman of General Electric began in the shadows of 9/11, Jeffrey Immelt has guided one of America’s most storied companies to a preeminent place in the international business community.
Under the leadership of this Cincinnati born son of a GE aircraft engine division manager, GE has become the world’s largest maker of jet engines, locomotives, medical imaging equipment and power plant turbines, producing $20 billion in exports. He has drawn praise in the pages of Barron’s, which three times named him the “World’s Best CEO,” Time, which named him one of the “Most Influential People in the World,” and Fortune, which called GE “America’s Most Admired Company.”
He also undertook the formidable challenge of putting GE’s resources and talents to work in tackling the world’s biggest environmental problems from reducing greenhouse gases to improving energy efficiency and water conservation through his company’s visionary “ecomagination” initiative, which has set a standard for corporate environmental responsibility.
Last year, President Obama sought his expertise for a crucial advisory board created to help bring America back from its worst economic downturn in decades. For his inspiring leadership and commitment to fostering “imagination at work,” Boston College honors Jeffrey Immelt with the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.
John L. Harrington
A well-known and highly respected member of our university family, John Harrington is truly an “All Star” to Boston College, baseball’s Red Sox Nation and the wider community.
With both undergraduate and graduate business degrees from Boston College, he has served his alma mater as faculty member, University Trustee, Trustee Associate, Alumni Association president, generous benefactor and, along with his wife Maureen, parent of three BC Alumni.
As treasurer, corporate consultant and long-term Chief Executive Officer of Boston’s beloved “Olde Towne Team,” he set a standard for effective sports management, communication and marketing strategies for the Red Sox and all professional sports franchises.
Steward of the charitable organizations created by the late Thomas A. and Jean Yawkey, John Harrington has overseen the distribution of million of dollars to support a variety of worthy causes, including education, medical research, family services and nature conservation.
In recognition of his leadership, loyalty, achievement and generosity, Boston College proudly tips its cap to a “Most Valuable Player” and bestows upon John Harrington the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.
Sister Mary Hart, R.G.S.
For nearly three decades, children in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood have been guided by Sister Mary Hart of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Tending to the needs of individuals beset by poverty, her work and evident faith have reflected the principle of her order’s foundress, Saint Mary Euphrasia, who often said, “One person is of more value than a world.”
She branched out of her order’s traditional ministry when she asked to be assigned to parish work. First at St. Francis, St. Philip Parish and, since 2005, at St. Katherine Drexel Parish, Sister Mary has supervised after school and summer camp programs focused on literacy, young-adult leadership and academic enrichment for children and teens from the parish and the broader Dudley Square community.
Sister Mary’s ministry has received honors reserved for those who labor quietly in service to others, including the Robert L. Ruffin Award and the Philanthropic Initiative’s Boston Neighborhood Fellows Award. For filling the afternoons and summer days of children in need with love and enrichment, and embodying the Sisters of the Good Shepherd’s mission to honor and respect the dignity of each person as a child of God, Boston College awards Sister Mary Hart the degree of Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa.
Joy Haywood Moore
Joy Haywood Moore is not only a champion of girl’s schools, she is a shining example of the heights that can be achieved by their graduates. An alumna of Dana Hall School, an independent school for young women in nearby Wellesley, her commitment to women’s education has defined her life’s work. This passion has taken her halfway across the globe to South Africa where she serves as interim head at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, founded by Oprah Winfrey in fulfillment of a promise made to Nelson Mandela. Under Moore’s skillful direction, hundreds of South African girls have been given the rare opportunity to move beyond barriers and embark on a journey that will benefit both them and their country.
A graduate of the Lynch School of Education who has directed both the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles and her alma mater, Dana Hall, she understands the capacity of education to change lives. Having served as a trustee of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, she puts into practice their belief that girls’ schools are the most powerful, transformative learning environments for young women. For a career dedicated to guiding young women on a path of achievement, growth and leadership, Boston College proudly confers upon Joy Haywood Moore the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor
As the faithful leader of the Roman Catholic Church of England and Wales, His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster, has inspired and enriched the lives of some five million Catholics.
He has guided thousands through spiritual and pastoral renewal – to strengthen and deepen their faith – as architect of the grassroots program “At Your Word, Lord.” Among his devoted flock are hundreds of Facebook friends.
When our collective attention was drawn to Rome in 2005, he was among members of the College of Cardinals who elected the Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. During a lifetime dedicated to the Lord’s work, he has expressed in words and deeds his firm belief in the vigorous life of the Church, and its crucial role in society.
He reflected on his priestly ministry at the Golden Jubilee of his Ordination at London’s Westminster Cathedral, the mother Church of his Catholic community. The essence of priesthood, he said in his homily, is to be of service to others.
Boston College, which seeks to foster in its graduates an enduring commitment to faith, hope and service, hails the depth and breadth of his vocation and declares Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
THE TITLE AND DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF SCIENCE, (honoris causa), CONFERRED AT CONGREGATION, OCTOBER 26, 1962March 26, 2013
ISADORE MICHAEL LERNER
Doctor of Science
Madam Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you for the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, Isadore Michael Lerner, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Genetics at the University of California at Berkeley. Yesterday an exemplary graduate of this University, today he is a pre-eminent scientist, one of the world’s foremost geneticists, famed for his research and writings, respected for his willingness and ability to discharge administrative duties both national and international, declared a true academician whose natural humanism turns a study of evolution into a study of man in which the practical is balanced by the philosophic.
CLAUDE THOMAS BISSELL
Doctor of Laws
Madam Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you for the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Claude Thomas Bissell, President of the University of Toronto, Chairman of the Canada Council. Nurtured by the great university over which he now presides, and inspired by the traditions of his predecessors in that office, not only does he sustain that greatness but he adds richly to it through his personal distinction as a man of letters, through his exuberant Canadian personality, and through his leadership, at once vigorous and imaginative, bold and challenging. Whether at his University or at the Canada Council, his presence is proof enough that the institution is devoted to the enrichment of the things of both soul and mind.
JOHN FREDERICK KERR ENGLISH
Doctor of Laws
Madam Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you for the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Deputy Minister of Education in the Province of British Columbia. It is with gratitude that this University thanks one of its graduates, one who has become one of the Province’s most loyal servants. His career, in which he has risen from teacher to principal, from inspector to Deputy-Minister, has been marked by two illuminating qualities: deep responsibility and quiet wisdom. For more than thirty-five years he has demonstrated in his public and private life the exacting duty of the teacher not only to master his subject and to instruct his students, but to understand the community and to help realize its aspirations. To this comprehensive understanding of the many different communities that constitute our Province, he brings a judgement which, because of wide experience and unquestioned devotion, has grown to wisdom. To all institutes of learning he is a friend and valued counsellor.
Doctor of Laws
Madam Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you for the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Ronald Gould, Knight, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers of Great Britain, President of the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession. Such obvious competence has not gone unhonoured and to the number of great distinctions already won the Senate delights to add, keenly aware that the immense problems of education in the world today will be solved only by men like him, leaders endowed with vision and ideas. Himself a teacher and an administrator, he is as concious of the essential importance of both, as he is of the need for their insight, challenging ideas. Here is a dynamic man, as outspoken as he is outstanding, a prophet with honour.