Pace University- Honorary Degree Recipients, 2012

Stephen Apkon

Founder and Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center

Doctor of Humane Letters

Stephen Apkon is the Founder and Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center. Mr. Apkon has brought vision, direction, and leadership to this burgeoning arts organization whose mission is to bring a diversity of film and educational programs to Westchester County and its surrounding communities. To further support research and innovation in education, JBFC opened a state of the art 27,000 square foot Media Arts Lab facility in Pleasantville, NY, in August 2008.

Mr. Apkon is a social entrepreneur who has combined his passion and knowledge of film and contemporary media to re-imagine K-12 education, incorporating 21st Century digital literacy into curriculum reform. Since its doors opened in 2001, JBFC education programs, combining NYS Learning Standards with 21st Century digital literacy skills and competencies, have reached more than  85,000 children, of which more than fifty percent attend schools in underserved schools within Westchester County.

Mr.Apkon frequently speaks to a wide variety of groups about his perspective on education. He has been a participant in the 21st Century Literacy Summit, a presenter at the UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education in Lisbon, Portugal, and most recently a keynote presenter at the Sundance Art House Convergence Conference.

 In addition to his position as Founder and Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Film Center, Mr. Apkon serves on the board of the World Cinema Foundation, Advancing Human Rights, and is a member of the Sundance Art House Convergence Leadership Team and the Creative Coalition Entertainment Industry’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Education. He is an Advisory Board member of Teatown Lake Reservation and World Hunger Year. Mr. Apkon is also the author of the upcoming book The Age of the Image: A Call to Redefine Literacy in a Visually Driven World to be published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux in 2012.

From 1992 to 1999, he was a General Partner in Crossroads Partners, LLC , a private merchant banking partnership based in Westchester. From 1988to 1992, he was a Principal at Odyssey Partners, LP, a private Manhattan-based investment partnership primarily involved in management buyouts in industries as diverse as technology and retailing. From 1986 to 1988, he was an Associate in Merger and Acquisitions Department of Goldman Sachs & Co. in Manhattan. In 1998, he formed the Friends of the Rome Theater, now known as the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Stephen Apkon is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School. He resides in Pleasantville, New York with his wife and three children.

Danny Meyer

CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group

Doctor of Humane Letters

Danny Meyer is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern, Maialino, Untitled, North End Grill, Union Square Events, and Hospitality Quotient, a learning and consulting business. Danny, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 24 James Beard Awards. Danny’s first business book, Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times bestseller, examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business and life. An active national leader in the fight against hunger. Danny has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest. He is equally active in civic affairs, serving on the executive committees of NYC & Co, Union Square Partnership, and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.



Pace University – Honorary Degree Recipients,2011

Jonathan Lippman

Degree: Doctor of Laws ( L.L.D.)

Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York, was born in New York City in 1945. He was appointed Chief Judge by Governor David A. Paterson in January 2009 and confirmed by the New York State Senate in February 2009. Chief Judge Lippman previously served, by appointment of Governor Eliot Spitzer, as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department. From January 1996 to May 2007, he served as the Chief Administrative Judge of all New York State Courts- the longest tenured person ever to serve in that position- and played a central role in many far-reaching reforms of the Judiciary and legal profession. In 2005, he was elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court for the Ninth Judicial District and went on to serve as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term for the Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts. He was first appointed to the bench in 1995 by Governor George Pataki as a Judge of the New York Court of Claims. His career in the court system has spanned four decades, starting as an entry level court attorney in the Supreme Court in Manhattan. Chief Judge Lippman is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices, former President of the Conference of State Court Administrators, and former Vice-Chair of the Board of the National Center for State Courts.

Dr.Joseph M. Pastore, Jr.

Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Dr. Joseph M. Pastore, Jr. is Professor Emeritus (in Residence), Lubin School of Business, Pace University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University (1963), an M.B.A. from the Pace University (1966), and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University (1969). In addition, he has engaged extended non-degree programs through Cornell University (1971-72) and Harvard University (1975). Dr. Pastore has held faculty appointments at Saint Louis University (1967-68), St. Bonaventure University (1965-66 and 1968-76), Pace University (1976-91 and 1993-present), and Boston College (1991-93). While at St. Bonaventure University he served as Dean of the School of Business (1969-73) and Vice President and Provost (1973-76). At Pace University, Dr. Pastore served as Dean of the Lubin School of Business (1976-80), Vice President for Academic Affairs (1980-84), Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (1984-85), and University Provost (1985-91). At Boston College, Dr. Pastore served as Executive Vice President (1991-93). In 1988, Dr. Pastore was a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. Beyond teaching, Dr. Pastore has authored, co-authored, or edited over forty articles, monographs, papers, and book chapters and has lectured in executive development programs for such organizations as Verizon Communications, British Telecommunications, AT & T, Swiss Re, Monsanto, IBM, Prudential-Bache Securities, Technicon, Corning, Reader’s Digest, and Dresser Industries. Dr. Pastore was named in 1972 to the arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; his mediation and facilitation work includes an appointment, from 1986- 2006, by the U.S. District Court (Southern District) as Monitor and Special Master overseeing the Order to Desegregate the Yonkers Public Schools, Yonkers, New York.

Jo Ivey Boufford

Degree: Doctor Of Science (Sc.D.)

Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, is President of The New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Boufford is Professor of Public Service, Health Policy, and Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. She served as Dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University from June 1997 to November 2002. Prior to that, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from November 1993 to January 1997, and as Acting Assistant Secretary from January 1997 to May 1997. While at HHS, she served as the representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1994 to 1997.

From May 1991 to September 1993, Dr. Boufford served as Director of the King’s Fund College, London England. The King’s Fund is a royal charity dedicated to the support of health and social services in London and the United Kingdom. She served as President of the New York City and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal system in the United States, from December 1985 until October 1989.

Dr. Boufford was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC, for 1979-1980. She served as a member of the National Council on Graduate Medical Education and the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1997 to 2002. She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Health Care Strategies and serves on the boards of the United Hospital Fund, the Primary Care Development Corporation and Public Health Solutions formerly MHRA. She was President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (2002-2003). She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1992 and is a member of its Executive Council, Board on Global Health and Board on African Science Academy Development. She was elected to serve for a four-year term as the Foreign Secretary of the IOM beginning July 1, 2006. She received received an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the State University of New York, Brooklyn, in May 1992 and the New York Medical College in May 2007. She was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2005. She has been a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine since 1988 and a Trustee since 2004.

Dr. Boufford attended Wellesley College for two years and received her BA (Psychology) magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, and her MD, with distinction, from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Board Certified in pediatrics. Dr. Boufford has served on the AIHA Board since 2008.

Jim Whitaker

Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)

Jim Whitaker is the Chairman of Whitaker Entertainment, which is based at Walt Disney Pictures. He is the founder and director of REBIRTH, a feature-length documentary combining time-lapse photography of the World Trade Center Site with the intimate stories of ten people coping with grief post 9/11 which Whitaker has been following for the past nine years. Beginning with the installation of 3 time-lapse cameras on March 11, 2002, REBIRTH now has 14 cameras in and around the site recording a frame of film every five minutes 24 hours a day.

Jim began his career at imagine as an intern rising to President of Motion Picture Production in 2004. He has executive produced such films as THE CHANGELING, AMERICAN GANGSTER, CINDERELLA MAN, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, 8 MILE, and CURIOUS GEORGE. He began his career assisting craft services on John Waters’ HAIRSPRAY. Jim is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA from the Peter Stark Program at USC. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Whitaker currently resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children.

Brown confers six honorary doctorates

2013 Honorary Doctorates

Benjamin Affleck

Actor and Director

Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)

Acclaimed actor, director, producer, writer, and humanitarian, you have built one of the most ecletic and intriguing bodies of  work in film today. Since your first Academy Award for the screenplay for Good Will Hunting, you have expanded your repertoire to portray a host of diverse characters and aspects of American life. As a storyteller you have brought your deep love for your home town of Boston vividly to the screen. You have been heralded as a talented producer and an astute director, and that promise came to the fruition last year with the success of the Academy Award-winning film Argo. Through your depiction of this fascinating piece of American history, you both entertained and encouraged viewers to think critically about our international relationships. Outside of Hollywood, you establishment of the Eastern Congo Initiative, the first U.S.- based advocacy and grant-making initiative working exclusively with the people of that war-torn area, has set positive change in motion, supporting maternal and child health, higher education initiatives and community-based economic development to build a safe and sustainable future. For your admirable work to improve the lives of those hit hardest by deprivation and war and your contributions to the world of film, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.

 Junot Diaz

Author and Editor

Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)

Writer, educator, activist, your words- both written and spoken – illustrate the immigrant experience in America and the challenges facing those whose identities are shaped by exposure to multiple cultures. As a Pulitzer Prize winner, a National Book Award finalist, and a recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, you have demonstrated the impact that prose can have on our  understanding of our neighbors and ourselves. In your capacity as a creative writing professor at M.I.T., the founder of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Writing Workshop, and an adviser to Freedom University in Georgia, you have explored innovative ways of bringing people back into conversation with the arts and academia. Your steadfast support for a path to citizenship and achievement for young undocumented immigrants has given a voice to the experience of those who were brought here in search of a better life, much like yourself. For your  understanding contributions to the literature and learning, your compassion and your belief in the power of education for all, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Stanley Falkow


Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

Pioneering microbiologist, influential teacher and mentor, and Brown Graduate School alumnus, you are considered the father of molecular bacterial pathogenesis. Your desire to study in detail the attributes of microbes that do not cause disease has changed the way we think about bacteria in the human body and how we approach prevention and treatment of some of the most common ailments, including whooping cough. Each stage of your career has featured discoveries that helped build the foundation of infectious disease research today.Your groundbreaking work has illustrated the ways in which bacteria survive antibiotics by swapping resistance genes; how microbes and host cells interact to cause disease on the molecular level; and how particular genes can be isolated and used to learn about the individual steps of disease development. Perhaps even more important is the fact that you freely share your love of science and research with others and have dedicated a portion of your time to training generations of microbiologists and infectious disease physicians. For your influential contributions to medicine, public health, and the teaching profession, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Beverly Wade Hogan

President of Tougaloo College

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Educator, public administrator, community leader, and humanitarian, you have chartered a personal and professional course of civic leadership and lifelong learning. A native of Mississippi, you have been profoundly dedicated to the growth and welfare of your home state, applying your knowledge and compassion to issues of mental health, women’s safety, low-income housing, and economic development. As the first woman and African American to serve in  high-ranking state government positions, you helped break down institutional barriers, begin productive conversations about economic and social justice, and improve the lives of your fellow citizens. Your steadfast leadership as President of Tougaloo College is lauded as Brown and Tougaloo celebrate the first fifty years of a vital partnerships, unparalled in American higher education. Under your guidance Tougaloo has established new programs encouraging its undergraduates to engage in hands-on research, to study social responsibility and international affairs, and to participate in a breadth of community-based programs. For the passion you bring to public service, your trailblazing approach to issues of racial and gender equity, and your devotion to teaching and learning, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Risa Lavisso-Mourey

Physician and Foundation President

Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.S.)

Medical practitioner, professor, policymaker, and philanthropist, your influence upon public health in the United States is immense. As president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest nonprofit entity dedicated solely to health and health care, you have implemented transformative programs to address the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic, the shortage of highly trained nurses, the social factor that impact health among the most vulnerable populations, and the rising costs of health care. The depth of your medical knowledge and the strength of your leadership have brought change directly into the communities that need it most. You are widely praised not only for your ideas and your conviction to see them through, but also for your collaborative nature, your compassion, and your intrepid spirit. In recognition of your efforts  to make healthy choice available to all an to re-imagine the ways in which we can approach health care in this country, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Medical Science, honoris causa.

Eduardo J. Padron

President of Miami Dade College

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Civic leader, teacher and champion of higher education, you are among the most decorated and influential college presidents today. Having arrived in the United States at the age of 15, a refugee from Cuba, you recognized the importance of education and quickly seized upon the opportunities available for higher learning. Throughout your career as an economist, professor, and president, you have maintained a commitment to combining open access to education with the high standards of academic excellence. Under your direction, Miami Dade College has put into practice innovative teaching and learning strategies and support systems to ensure the success of students from all walks of life. The College has also become a vital participant in the city’s artistic renaissance and economic development. In recognition of your outstanding leadership, your innovative thinking, and the excellent example you continue to set for generations of students, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Lafayette Will Award Four Honorary Degrees at 176th Commencement

2011 Honorary Doctorates

Gwendolyn L. Ifill

GWENDOLYN L. IFILL is managing editor and moderator for Washington Week and senior correspondent for The NewsHour at PBS. Her journalism career, which spans more than 30 years, includes serving as chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, White House correspondent for The New York Times, and local and national political reporter for The Washington Post.

Ifill has covered six Presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates. Author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, she has received awards from Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, and Ebony Magazine. She holds a B.A. in communications from Simmons College, Boston, Mass., and serves on the boards of Harvard University Institute of Politics and Committee to Protect Journalists.

GWENDOLYN L. IFILL, throughout your career you have exemplified the highest standards of thoughtful journalistic practice.

You have a rare  and remarkable gift for distilling what is  “news” from the bewildering torrent of information that  overwhelms our lives. You are equally adept at communicating  that news in a balanced and insightful way – and doing so under the pressure of extremely tight deadlines. Whether you are seated at Washington Week’s round table on a Friday evening moderating an in-depth discussion of health-care legislation or reporting on a Supreme Court ruling from behind your desk at the PBS NewsHour, your goal is always, in your words, “to get to the bottom of things.”

“The best lessons,” you have said, “are not necessarily learned from the  people with the most power or the loftiest titles, but sometimes just by keeping your eyes open.” They are lessons you have mastered well. The keenness and breadth of your vision have secured your reputation among the nation’s most highly regarded journalists. And the quality of your work serves as a reminder to us all of why serious journalism still matters.

THEREFORE,  by the  authority granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the Trustees of Lafayette College and by them delegated to me, I award you the degree of DOCTOR OF JOURNALISM, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors, and privileges thereto appertaining, in token whereof I present you with this diploma and direct that you be vested in the hood emblematic of the degree.

Michael C. McFarland

REV. MICHAEL C. McFARLAND, S.J. has been president of College of the Holy Cross for the past 11 years, the second longest tenure in that position. He led the record-setting $216 million campaign, which secured additional resources for financial aid and established new faculty positions. The College’s most ambitious building project –  an integrated science complex – was completed in 2010. He also has built critical partnerships in the City of Worchester, Mass.

A computer scientist with extensive liberal arts teaching experience and a special interest in the intersection of technology  and ethics, McFarland was previously dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash., and was associate professor of computer science and head of the department at Boston College. He serves on the boards of Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts and Worcester Catholic Charities.

McFarland holds a bachelor’s in physics from Cornell University, and a master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1975 and earned a master’s  in divinity and a Th. M. in social ethics from the Weston School of Theology.

MICHAEL C. McFARLAND, the remarks you delivered at your inauguration as the 31st president of the College of the Holy Cross left no doubt about the values and goals that would define your presidency: “Our purpose here, as it always has been,” you said, “is to produce people who believe in something, in something worthwhile, and who believe strongly enough that they will hold to it and live it out, even in the face of distraction, temptation, and opposition.”

Under your visionary leadership, the college developed an even stronger sense of purpose, adding faculty and facilities to create meaningful new opportunities for students to learn and grow and forging impressive new partnerships with the community. You have been equally influential in advancing higher learning in America, in particular through your advocacy of liberal education. Lafayette and the other members of the Patriot League have benefited, as well, from the clarity and persuasiveness with which you articulate the values that make our league unique.

A person of deep faith and sterling character, you have been a model college president, fulfilling your responsibilities with an endearing blend of intelligence and humor. A transformative leader yourself, you have watched proudly as Holy Cross graduates become – in the words you spoke near the end of your inaugural address – “a transforming presence in the world.”

THEREFORE, by the authority granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the Trustees of Lafayette College and by them delegated to me, I award you the degree of DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS, honoris causa , with all the rights, honors, and privileges  thereto appertaining, in token whereof I present you with this diploma and direct that you be vested in the hood emblematic of the degree.

Wilbur W. Oaks ’51

WILBUR W. OAKS ’51 is a highly esteemed physician and has been professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa., for more than 50 years. He founded the Saint John’s Hospice Homeless Soccer Team Program, Body and Soul for which he received the 1,000 Points of Light award from President George H. W. Bush and a resolution from the  City  of Philadelphia.

Oaks received the Lafayette Medal for Distinguished Service In 2001 and a year later, the Joseph E. Bell ’28 Alumni Distinguished Service Award. He served as a member of Lafayette’s Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001, president of the Alumni Association from 1994 to 1996, and on many all-College committees.

A member of the men’s soccer team from 1947 to 1950, Oaks was captain his last year. The men’s soccer field was named in his honor in 2005: Bourger Field at Oaks Stadium, and he was inducted into the Maroon Club Hall of Fame in 2009. His three daughters, Susan ’78, Cynthia ’80, and Sally Lou ’84 are also Lafayette graduates, and two of his granddaughters are current students. A chemistry graduate, he holds an M.D. from MCP Hahnemann University.

WILBUR W. OAKS you have served your alma mater and its students faithfully and steadfastly ever since you graduated from Lafayette six decades ago. Countless alumni – many of whom have followed your example in becoming leaders within the medical profession – revere you as a mentor, inspiration, teacher, and friend.

What sets you apart as an alumnus, as a physician, and as a person is the constancy, the conviction, and – above all – the compassion with which you work to improve the lives of others. A medical clinic for Philadelphia’s homeless which you supervised and which was staffed primarily by medical-student volunteers was singled out by President George H. W. Bush as one of his 1,000 Daily Points of Light for the Nation; the members of the Saint John’s Hospice Homeless Soccer squad you started several years ago found it a challenge to keep pace with their indefatigable coach.

Whether you are building a sense of accomplishment and team spirit among men with little to cheer about or introducing young medical students to the satisfaction of aiding those in need, you are the ideal examplar of service to others. By dispensing encourage and hope along with expert medical care, you have helped souls as well as bodies to heal.

THEREFORE, by the authority granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the Trustees of Lafayette College and by them delegated to me, I award you the degree of DOCTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICE, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors, and privileges thereto appertaining, in token whereof I present you with this diploma and direct that you be vested in the hood emblematic of the degree.

Salvatore J. Panto Jr.

SALVATORE J. PANTO JR., recognized for making Easton cleaner and safer as well as restoring its fiscal stability, has also been an outstanding supporter of Lafayette. He joins President Daniel H. Weiss each fall to welcome the incoming class and is often on campus for other meetings and events. Last year he gave the opening remarks for an exhibit of projects on service learning in Easton as well as other communities.

Panto has led an economic development program that has brought more than $190 million in public and private investment and created hundreds of new jobs in the city. The projects include adaptive re-use of the former Pomeroy Building (vacant for more than 35 years), Lafayette’s North Third Street campus, and an improved waterfront park.

Panto holds a bachelor’s from Kutztown University and master’s in educational administration from Lehigh University. He has been a teacher in the Easton Area School Disctrict and chief administrative officer of the Charles Chrin Companies. He served a previous term as Easton’s mayor from 1984 to 1992. He is past president and board member of Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, and  member of the  National League of Cities, serving on the environmental steering committee and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

SALVATORE J. PANTO, JR., your belief in the importance of Lafayette College and its longstanding value to your city truly sets you apart. Inseparable from the leadership you provide as Eston’s mayor is passionate and unwavering support of this college. You have worked tirelessly with us to achieve the ideal balance between the City’s interests and our own, a process that has been enormously beneficial for us both.

Most remarkably, you have never failed to step forward when we have asked for your help. Whether the request involves participating in a press conference, making a presentation to class, developing a joint grant proposal, or supporting a new community-based-learning initiative, you always make time for Lafayette. In these and countless other ways, you have made us a better college.

THEREFORE, by the authority granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the Trustees of Lafayette College and by them delegated to me, I award you the degree of DOCTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICE, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors, and privileges thereto appertaining, in token whereof I present you with this diploma and direct that you be vested in the hood emblematic of the degree.

University of King’s College

2012 Honorary Doctorate Citation

Elizabeth Fountain

Elizabeth Fountain

The English philosopher Francis Bacon defines goodness itself as “the affecting of the weal of men, which is that the Grecians call ‘philanthropy’; mere ‘humanity’, he went on to say, “is a little too light to express it.” If one were to seek a heavy practitioner of Bacon’s philanthropy, that active exercise of goodness that goes beyond the mere benevolent, in dwelling fellow-feeling of human beings, one need look no farther than Nova Scotia’s own Elizabeth Fountain. Mrs. Fountain was born in Halifax and is an alumna of Mount Saint Vincent University. For many years, in partnership with her husband Fred, Mrs. Fountain has practiced philanthropy both in our local community and beyond, affecting the common weal through the nurture of programmes and initiatives principally in the areas of education, culture, and health care.

Recognizing that education forms the minds of the community at its crucial stages, Mrs. and Mr. Fountain have played steadfast roles in sustaining  the missions of Mount Saint Vincent University, Dalhousie University (where Mr. Fountain is Chancellor), and the University of King’s College. The Fountain’s support of the arts and culture in our community speaks to their deep understanding that the humane soul is formed by more than just intellect. Some of the initiatives to which they have contributed in this domain are the Fountain Performing Arts Centre at King’s-Edgehill School, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Scotia Festival of Music, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and the National Gallery of Art. For the protection of our environment and care of physical culture, they have endowed the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Fountain Arena at St. Margaret’s Centre. Causes they have favoured  in the area of community health include the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, Laing House, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Red Cross, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, and Autism Nova Scotia.

In 2009, the untimely and deeply-mourned passing of the Fountains’ son, Alex, himself a King’s student, proved a profound challenge to the outward-looking perspective Elizabeth Fountain had so vigorously cultivated. Nevertheless, she has had  the courage to transform a personal tragedy into positive advocacy in the area of mental health. She was one of the leading forces behind the recent change to the Nova Scotia Department of Health’s Personal Health Information Act, which allows information sharing between mental health care providers and the supporters of persons living with mental illness if those individuals or others are at risk. In addition, Elizabeth and Fred Fountain have made a handsome gift to the University of King’s College for the restoration of HMCS Wardroom and for the creation of the annual Alex Fountain Memorial Lecture, the first of which was held in October, 2011. The inaugural speaker, chosen by students, was former Governor General, the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean; in November, 2012, King’s will welcome the renowned Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor as the second Alex Fountain Memorial lecturer.

It was the view of some ancient Greek philosophers that true philanthropy had its  wellspring not in personal resources but in a love for others so great that it must originate in a superhuman or divine benevolence. It is in recognition of her provident, caring, and generous exercise of goodness, Mr. Chancellor, that I ask you, in the name of King’s College, to confer upon Elizabeth Fountain the degree of Doctor of Canon Law, honoris causa.

Lewis Lapham's Convocation Address


Lewis Lapham has enjoyed a long distinguished career as a journalist, writer, broadcaster, and critic. He is perhaps best known as editor of Harper’s Magazine, a position he held, with just one brief hiatus, between 1976 and 2006. Yet he continues to edify and entertain with a new journal that bears his name, even as it reflects his intellectual tenor and literary passions. First appearing in 2007, Lapham’s Quarterly is an innovative publication- part magazine, part anthology- that devotes each of its issues to a social, political, or cultural theme, and uses primary sources from across the ages and continents to explore its various facets. While at Harper’s, Lapham authored the monthly essay “Notebook,” which won him the National Magazine Award in 1995. In 2006, he was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame.

Mr. Lapham’s essays have been collected in 14 volumes. Their titles not only offer a glimpse at the focus and range of his interests, but also hint at the salubrious provocation they promise attentive readers: in the 1980’s appeared Money and Class in America; the 1990’s produced Waiting for the Barbarians and The Agony of Mammon; The 2000’s gave us both Lights, Camera, Democracy and With the Beatles, a memoir of Mr. Lapham’s 1968 visit to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India. Mr. Lapham’s most recent book is Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration (2006). His writing has appeared in numerous publications of note, including Life, Commentary , Vanity Fair and The New York Times, and, in Canada, The Walrus and Maclean’s. Mr. Lapham has hosted two television series on PBS, America’s Century and Bookmark, and he currently presents The World in Time: discussions with scholars and historians on Bloomberg radio.

If a King’s undergraduate, professor, or alumnus were to imagine a day in Mr. Lapham’s work life, he or she would undoubtedly recognize common patterns. The Foundation Year Student would find him wrestling with familiar texts ancient and modern; majors in our combined honours programmes would see him enjoying the camaraderie of authors living and dead. Our journalism students could observe him not only composing essays that effortlessly  marry history and current events, but also doing so under deadline, and with an eloquence that overflows the page into mellifluous podcasts and televisions interviews. Indeed, Mr. Lapham seems to embody the collective mission of the College even as he fulfills its individual aspirations. For him, writing is no mere utilitarian store of inert records, but a house of mutual dialogue, where writer and reader are joined in a vital communal act. In these sense, everything he writes, whether of historical or contemporary import, is infused with political urgency. This core sensibility informs all the modes of exposition he has mastered, from prophetic outrage, to satirical seriousness, to a wry humour nourished by the ironies and contradictions of human experience. Indeed, even in his most devastating critiques, this “Kingsian” Übermensch evinces a conviviality and joie de vivre that would not make him out of place in our own HMCS Wardroom.

A much-imitated brainchild of Mr. Lapham’s Harper’s days is the famed Index, an informative, sometimes whimsical stream-of-consciousness table of statistical facts. Mr. Lapham may forgive us for employing the form here in an effort to encapsulate his multifarious accomplishments:

Number of Foundation Year authors in the Winter, 2012 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly: 31

Number of recent King’s graduates hired by Lapham to work as interns: 3

Number of hours Lapham spent in an Indian taxi with Ringo Starr: 8

Number of Honourary Doctorates Lapham has received from the University of King’s College to date: 0

Mr. Chancellor, in recognition of his zeal for broad and interdisciplinary study, for his contribution to literature, history, and journalism, I ask you to confer upon Lewis H. Lapham in the name of King’s College the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa).

2013 Honorary Doctorate Citations

 Donald R. Sobey

Donald Sobey’s name has become familiar to generations of Canadians in Atlantic Canada and beyond, for they have seen fed by the eponymous chain of grocery stores begun by his grandfather almost a century ago. Yet during his long career in the Sobeys family of businesses, Mr. Sobey has made it his personal business to provide other forms of nurture as well, feeding his fellow citizens’ material, educational, aesthetic and spiritual needs in a robust parallel career of philantrophy.

Born in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County, Donald Sobey first joined his brothers and father in the family enterprise in 1958, after completing a Commerce degree at Queen’s University. In 1963 he took a position on the board of the Stellarton-headquartered Empire Company Limited, a diversified entity which operates such well-recognised brands as Sobeys Incorporated, Crombie Properties, and Empire Theatres. Mr. Sobey was named President of Empire in 1969, Chairman in 1985, and, upon his retiement in 2004, Chairman Emeritus.

The Empire Mr. Sobey ruled encompasses the everyday lives of innumerable people in what they eat, where they live, and how they entertained. Yet the realm of his humane service extended and continues to reach far beyond the board room. He has worked for global conservation and the environment through a directorship on the World Wildlife Federation, and he has helped foster mutual understanding and international cooperation through membership on the Trilateral Commission. As the scion of a family that has always cherished its connection to home, however, it is fair to say that Mr. Sobey has lavished his most creative generosity on building community in Canada, most notably through educational sponsorship and leadership in the arts. Notable among his many contributions to postsecondary education has been his service on the Advisory Council of Queen’s University and on the Board of Governors of Dalhousie University, as well as his chairmanship of a 44-million dollar fundraising campaign on our sister institution’s behalf. His concern for developing local aspirations within a national context is evident in the educational initiative of which he is proudest, the D & R Sobey Atlantic Leadership Awards, inaugurated by Mr. Sobey in 1999. This programme annually selects six Atlantic Canadian students and sends them to study business at Queen’s with four years of full funding. As a complement to the millions of dollars his family’s [Sobey] Foundation has contributed to student scholarship, research and building at universities in our own region, the D & R Sobey Award offers students both wider exposure to the career world for which they are preparing, and the persuasive example of their home-grown benefactor, who himself chose to bring the wealth of insight he gained from his studies in Ontario back to Atlantic Canada, using it to foster the development of national and international businesses headquartered here.

In the fine arts too Mr. Sobey has matched a lifelong love for work of Canadian artist with the desire and wherewithal to make that work known to a wider Canadian public. Board Chair of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa for two consecutive terms, he and his wife Beth has also been generous donors to the Gallery’s research programmes and to its collection, most recently gracing it with the monumental outdoor sculpture, “Majestic” by Michel de Broin. This Montreal artist is himself emblematic of Mr. Sobey’s desire to nurture creative makers as well as to enjoy their products, for he was a recipient in 2007 of the Sobey Art Foundation’s annual Award. Under the Presidency of Mr. Sobey since 2002, the Art Award, with a top prize of $50,000, is bestowed each year upon emerging Canadian Artists. As is typical of so many of Mr. Sobey’s endeavours, the Sobey Art Award is national in scope, but locally grounded, being administered by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia here in Halifax. It is hardly surprising, with the depth and range of his commitments, that Mr. Sobey has been singled out for special distinctions multiple times over the years. He has received several honourary degrees, the Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership, and has been inducted into both the Nova Scotia and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. It should be no wonder then that we at King’s– an institution which cherishes education and the arts are so deeply; an institution imbued with a powerful genius loci yet ever attractive to students from near and far– should wish to honour this paragon of international success so close to home. I therefore ask you, Mr. Chancellor, to confer upon Donald R. Sobey in the name of King’s College the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa).

Tom Traves

In 1995, when Dr. Tom Traves became President of Dalhousie University, he began the final stage of a progressively eastward-tracking career in academics and university administration. A native of Winnipeg, Dr. Traves took his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Manitoba before moving to Toronto’s York University, completing a PhD in History and accepting a professorship there in 1976. At an unusually early stage, he began to pair his teaching and research on Canadian business and labour history with administrative responsibilities, becoming Chair of the Division of Social Sciences in 1981. Just two years later, Dr. Traves was named Dean of York’s burgeoning Faculty of Arts, a unit that boasted an enrollment of 16,000 students during his time. By 1991, Dr. Traves had departed Upper Canada for the Maritimes, becoming Academic Vice-President at the University of New Brunswick. His next orientation brought him at last from Fredericton to our sister institution in Halifax, once fondly called “the College by the Sea”. Indeed, no less an obstacle than the great Atlantic Ocean could prevent Tom Traves’ continued march toward the rising of the sun. Dr. Traves has accordingly stayed with us for four terms and eighteen years, devoting his energy and talent to sheperding Dalhousie through a period of unprecedented growth in its numbers of students and faculty, in research dollars, and in world-wide reputation.

Part of the story of change under Tom Traves’ tenure can be captured in numbers. Between 1995 and 2013, for example, total student enrollments at Dalhousie grew by over half, from some 11,000 to almost 18,000. Accompanying that growth was a rise in student entrance averages to their present 85%, and an ever greater focus on developing Dalhousie’s status as Atlantic Canada’s premier Research University. Total research income at Dalhousie now stands at 149 million dollars per annum, and Dr. Traves’ administration has both boosted the number of research professorships and introduced a university-wide honours system to recognise Dalhousie Research Professors. All of this expansion has of course required increased funding and physical space. Under Dr. Traves’ leadership, Dalhousie has managed delicate governmental partnerships and robust fundraising campaigns, with an unprecedented 280 million dollar initiative, aptly named “Bold Ambitions,” successfully wrapping up this very day! The look of the Dalhousie campus itself has changed markedly over the past eighteen years, with the construction of nine new academic buildings, the building or acquisition of four (soon to be five) residences, and substantial modifications and upgrades designed for new realities, such as two new Learning Commons.

It is no doubt safe to assume that Dr. Traves had not foreseen every aspect of his Dalhousie position when he first stepped into it. Among these unexpected duties, perhaps, was his obligation to keep up relations with the odd little principality he found in the northwest corner of his new campus; a University College with its own regal name, its own programmes and proud traditions, yet inextricably linked in educational mission with its larger — albeit younger — sibling. Most of our graduates today will have developed a keen sense of the interdependency of Dalhousie and King’s: home programmes that require joint honours in subjects at Dalhousie, for example, and the presence in King’s classes of Dal students who choose to access unique offerings here. While the post-fire endowment that brought King’s to Halifax mandated such interdependency , the individual growth and individual success of Dalhousie and King’s could only and can only be achieved in the spirit of collegial mutuality. The growth of Dalhousie during Dr. Traves’ terms is paralleled by signal development at King’s during the same period: the consolidation of the new Contemporary Studies Programme and the introduction of the programmes in Early Modern Studies and the History of Science and Technology during his first decade, and the more recent alliance between the School of Journalism and Dal’s Faculty of Graduate Studies for two new programmes, the Master of Journalism and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction. These enhancements to King’s could have been realized only with the support and cooperation of many at the Dalhousie led by Tom Traves.

As president of Dalhousie, Tom Traves made significant contributions to the community both in Nova Scotia and in the nation at large, and both inside and outside the world of post-secondary education. To cull a few examples from a list too long to rehearse, he is at present Chair o9f Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust Fund, Chairman and Trustee of the Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund, and a director of Innovacorp, the provincial economic development agency. As he enters the phase of life we arbitrarily call retirement, it is impossible to imagine that this man of action will cease to act, just as it is impossible to imagine that he will cease to be a friend to King’s College, now that we claim him as our own. I ask you to make that claim good, Mr. Chancellor, by conferring upon Thomas Traves, in the name of King’s College, the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa).

David K. Wilson

When the University of King’s College Alumni Association bestowed its judged Elliott J. Hudson Award upon David K. Wilson in 2009, it did so to honour a personal relationship with our University that dates back to 1948, when Mr. Wilson was a student here. His association with the King’s tradition, however, goes back even further, for Mr. Wilson had come to Halifax as an “Old Boy” from what was then King’s Collegiate in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Indeed, his lifetime of generosity both to our King’s cousin in the Valley and to our own University College may cause one to wonder whether Mr.Wilson’s middle initial actually stands for “King’s”: In Windsor, the Senior School building is named for him, after all, and his abiding devotion to the University in Halifax has been no less evident. In the 1950’s Mr. Wilson’s was followed to King’s College by his younger brother Peter, and in the 1980’s and 1990’s by his sons Stephen and Gregor. David Wilson has been a constant supporter  of the College through the years, repeatedly donating within the Inglis Circle to our  Annual Fund, making substantial contributions to our Library’s “Rare Find” campaign in 1990, and giving again to the “Building a Strong Foundation” initiative later in the decade. In recent years Mr. Wilson, along with his sister-in-law Rose, has provided an enthusiastic Presenting Sponsorship for our Chapel Choir’s “King’s in the Cathedral” series through Wilson Fuels, of which he is co-Chair.

The education that Mr. Wilson, his brother and his sons received at King’s is the kind of education that strives to form the whole individual: it is a collaborative formation of body, mind and soul within a community of others. This kind of collegial education teaches full respect for difference, but also for the bonds of geographical space and of historical commonality. David Wilson comes from a family with deep roots in Colchester County, a family that emerges early in the annals of provincial commerce as the owners of a construction business that helped rebuilding efforts in Darmouth after the Halifax explosion of 1917, and which has sought  to “give back” in numerous ways since.

Later in the last century, the family’s business interests turned decisively towards domestic comfort and transportation, developing into the company now known as Wilson Fuels. David Wilson co-Chairs this company as the largest independent retailer of home heating fuel and gasoline in Atlantic Canada. Mr. Wilson is also Chair of Kerr Controls and Smart Energy, based in Truro. His Chairships of Ski Wentworth in Nova Scotia and Crabbe Mountain, a similar winter sporting venue in New Brunswick, testify to his engrained understanding that physical culture, preferably of the sort that promotes athleticism in the outdoors, plays a crucial role in shaping the whole individual. Mr. Wilson founded the Truro Bear Cats Rugby club in the late 1950’s, and was for sixteen years a dedicated Scout Master, for which he was awarded the Canadian Commemorative Medal. Mr. Wilson is patron of the Colchester Community Workshops Foundation and has served on numerous boards, including the Colchester YMCA, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, and the Central Nova Tourism Association. In 2009 he was named Atlantic Canada Entrepreneur of the Year, and he is a member of the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, David Wilson, along with his sister-in-law Rose, received the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian award in recognition of their efforts individual, familial, and corporate, to improve the community they come from, live in, and will bequeath to fellow citizens of the future. Today we honour David Wilson for his service to community, grateful and proud to see in it the pattern of humanity King’s has always striven to instill in her own. For his contributions as a Kingsman, I therefore ask you, Mr. Chancellor, to confer upon David Kerr Wilson, in the name of King’s College the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa).

Rose Wilson

The Loyalist founders of King’s College used to compare themselves with the ancient Romans, who like them came to learn the true meaning of home through loss, relocation, and rebuilding. For the Romans the hearth, or household fire, was quite literally the focus, the source of sustaining warmth and nourishment worshiped as a domestic goddess who dwelled within. The Romans venerated the same goddess at the heart of their civic cult, binding the good of the community at large and health of the community at home in a common devotion. Though we may well stop short of paying her divine honours today, we recognize in Rose Wilson a woman who understands the importance of keeping the fire of community burning both in its broadest and in its most intimate of hearths.

With her late husband George Peter Wilson, brother of David K. Wilson and President of Wilson Fuel, Rose cultivated a lifelong habit of stintless support for the various forms of community she has lived in, whether familial, corporate, or public. Her generosity to educational causes runs from those at the preschool level through to university and beyond. Mrs. Wilson has served on the Board of Directors of the Halifax Early Childhood School, supported the Citadel High Legacy Campaign, and received a Community Achievement award for her work in behalf of Gorsebrook Junior High. She is a past invigilator of the Canadian Millennial Scholarship Foundation, and is currently a mentor in the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation, which grants four-year financial awards to university students not only on the basis of academic talent, but also of character, service, and leadership potential. The Wilson Fuel Family scholarship, established  in 2009, further reflects Rose’s devotion to the principle of accessible post-secondary education to those who desire and deserve it. Mrs. Wilson has contributed to health care through her support of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and she has given attention to other charitable causes through her support of the Salvation Army and the United Way. With her long and varied contributions, it is no wonder that the Canadian Red Cross chose to bestow its Humanitarian Award upon Mrs. Wilson in 2011. Furthermore, knowing the role that music can play in rendering the soul humane, Rose has been an enthusiastic patron  of Symphony Nova Scotia and has  stood behind Wilson Fuel’s generous underwriting of concerts performed by the King’s College Chapel Choir in this Cathedral and in other historic buildings in our province.

Rose Wilson’s relationship with King’s is one that grew with the partnership she shared with her late husband, who attended King’s in the late 1950’s and was a proud and giving alumnus thereafter, serving as Atlantic Canada corporate co-chair of the College’s “Building on a Strong Foundation” campaign in the 1990’s. When G. Peter Wilson passed away in 1999, Rose not only saw fit to continue his corporate role in the family business, but also to extend his benevolent influence at King’s, endowing a well-used and cherished room in his memory. A second-floor chamber in the New Academic Building, the G. Peter Wilson Common Room is filled with natural light, and is at once a capacious and a comfortable space. In the course of a typical in-term week, the Wilson Room does constant service as an informal place for students and professors to gather and debate topics high and low; as the designated venue of the Foundation Year Programme’s General tutorial; as the congenial hall where guest scholars deliver lectures and seminars; as the salon where visiting poets and novelists are welcome to read their works, and as a central reception area where the College’s achievements are celebrated and toasted. In a word, the Wilson room has become a microcosm of the community of learning and fellowship that makes King’s the distinctive and vibrant collegium that it is. And at the centre of that room, under a portrait of the man for whom it is named, is its focus: the fire-hearth that warms the bodies of those present, and which will also leave them a memorial in days to come of the ideas and friendships kindled there, images of community to be built and sustained wherever they may go. For her example in kindling and fueling the fires of community at King’s and beyond, Mr. Chancellor, I ask you, in the name of King’s College, to confer upon Rose Wilson the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa).

Carleton College – Honorary Degree Citation, 2012

George H. Davis

Honorary Degree Citation for George H. Davis

President Poskanzer: It is a great honor and pleasure to present George H. Davis for the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

George H. Davis is Regents Professor (Emeritus) of Structural Geology and Provost (Emeritus) at the University of Arizona – and a long-time friend of Carleton College.  After graduating from the College of Wooster, and receiving a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, George completed a Ph.D. in geology at the University of Michigan in 1971.  He has spent most of his career at the University of Arizona.  George continues to teach, pursue geologic research, and carry out other professional projects. His term as Prpesident of the Geological Society of America (our oldest professional geology society) begins in a few weeks on July 1.

At Michigan, George and Merrily became close friends of fellow graduates students Shelby and Jean Boardman. That friendship started t connection between George and Carleton. He has visited campus several times over the last thirty years, for instance, for the carleton geology Department’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1983, as a Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor ten years later, and as a lecturer on several occasions, most recently three years ago. In addition he has advised comps projects of Carleton geology students and guided their graduate school work at Arizona.

George’s contribution to geology include field-based studies of deformed rocks of the Basin and Rage and the Colorado plateau in the U.S., economic geology and structural geology in Argentina in Canada, and most, recently, the archaeological geology of Greece. He has also contributed to scholarship on the teaching of structural geology and general education geoscience courses George has supervised forty MS and PH.D. theses(and been on committees of many other students). His widely-used textbook,Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, now in its third edition (2012) is known for its personal style, creativity, and humor (three elements not typically associated with the concept of a “textbook”).

George has a extraordinary generosity of spirit.  It shows in the ways he mentors graduate students and other faculty, how he interacts with undergraduates and in his commitment to geology and the liberal arts. In 2010, when he helped my students prepare a field guide for southern Arizona, one of the students commented: “At Picture Rocks, there are many petroglyphs carved into rock. George Davis says it’s cool, and I trust George Davis.”

Recently, a first-year seminar student nominated George for the Inspire Integrity Award of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (and he won!). According to the NSCS website, “these awards are presented to full-time university faculty and administration who have, through their lessons and actions, made a significant impact on the lives of their students and instilled a high degree of personal and academic integrity.” George’s seminar was titled “What it means to be human, our place in the universe.”

This story remind me of Larry Gould, another part of the connective tissue between Carleton and the University of Arizona. When Larry was inaugurated as Carleton’s fourth president in 1945, his speech was titled “Science and the Other Humanities” and it’s an interesting read 67 years later.  In that wide-ranging address, Gould suggests that the branch of humanities called mathematics and science “seeks to orient man as a child of the earth.”

President Poskanzer, members of the Board of trustees, faculty, staff and members of the class of 2012: I am very pleased to present Gorge Davis for the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Williams College 224th Commencement


Edward B. Burger, Doctor of Laws

So, a comedian walks into a math class. At first the predictable happens—students laugh. But then the improbable begins. Students are increasingly stretched. They start to absorb lectures online at night in their rooms and do their “homework” by day in class. They learn how to fail, how to learn from failure, and the essential role that failure plays in creativity. They flock not only to his courses, but to those across the department, and eventually major in math at a rate twenty times the national average. Meanwhile he takes his act on the road. He represents Williams to adoring alumni across the country. He also hits the virtual road, creating thousands of videos that explain math to students from kindergarten to college. NBC gets him to explain comically to the country the math behind the Winter Olympics. He somehow finds time to write books and articles, perhaps during all those times stuck in the lounge at O’Hare. The critics take notice. He’s named national teacher of the year—first in math and then in all subjects. The Huffington Post includes him in its list of top “innovators, mavericks, visionaries, and leaders.” He’s asked to speak about effective thinking at organizations, including Microsoft and the World Bank. And now he’s been appointed the fifteenth president of Southwestern University, proving, if it hadn’t already been clear, that actually none of this was a joke.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.


Billie Jean King, Doctor of Laws

One day at the age of eleven you turned to your mother and, with racket in hand, said, “I’m going to be number one in the world.” You had no way of knowing at that innocent age in how many ways that would become true. You were indeed ranked the world’s number one women’s tennis player five times based on thirty-nine Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles, including a record twenty of them at Wimbledon. But that turned out to be just the start. You practically invented women’s professional sports. You were the first player to lobby for and obtain equal prize money for women. You were the force behind the launch of the Women’s Tennis Association, the first female sports commissioner in history, and the first woman to have a major sports venue named after her. In 1973 in the Houston Astrodome you competed in and won one of the most watched sporting events in world history—the legendary Battle of the Sexes. Battling turns out to be what you do best, especially for the expansion of opportunities for women and the protection of gay and lesbian rights. No future history of the advancement of these issues in our time can be written without appreciating the contributions of the icon who went on from the age of eleven to not only be the best but do the best.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.


Annie Lennox, Doctor of Fine Arts

One of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top singers of all time, you have built a daring career that has combined evolving styles of performance with haunting lyrics and a singularly strong voice. No one commands a stage like Annie Lennox. You have sold, both solo and with the Eurythmics, more than eighty million albums, and you have won almost every award in the field—Grammys, a Golden Globe, BRIT Awards, Billboard’s Century Award, an Oscar. Much popular music and fashion in recent decades has followed in your deep wake. At the same time, you have used your iconic status to advance humanitarian causes globally. Your most focused attention has been on issues involving women and girls, including violence, reproductive rights, and AIDS. You are an ambassador for Oxfam, Amnesty International, the British Red Cross, Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Campaign, and the U.N. Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS. You have also founded the campaign called SING to advance awareness of HIV/AIDS in Africa and to raise funds to combat it through education and treatment. In doing so you have given voice to many of the world’s most vulnerable and overlooked members, providing them opportunities to some day achieve their own sweet dreams.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Fine Arts, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.


Deogratias Niyizonkiza, Doctor of Laws

Your life story is so dramatic that it is surprising to find the telling of it, in Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains, in the nonfiction section of the bookstore. While you were a medical student in Burundi, your training hospital became a site of civil war slaughter from which you only narrowly escaped. After a harrowing journey, you arrived in New York City a refugee with $200, no English, and no contacts. Sleeping each night first in an abandoned building and then in Central Park, you managed to find odd jobs until being befriended—first by a nun and then by a couple moved by your predicament. With their help, you attended Columbia University and then the Harvard School of Public Health, and began to work with Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health group. In addition to your uncommon drive and sense of purpose, you somehow inspire heroism in the people around you, from those back home who risked their lives to help save yours to the many here who sacrificed to advance your dream. That dream has been the opening of Village Health Works, which now operates Burundi’s premier health center, along with agricultural development programs, educational services, and income-generating projects for women, and which, by serving both Hutus and Tutsis, is poised to advance healing of many kinds.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.


Richard D. Parsons, Doctor of Laws

When the employees are angry, the stockholders hostile, or regulators salivating, whom do you send? Dick Parsons. With a rare charisma for consensus, you have built an extraordinary career in law, government, and business. Always the diplomat, you have operated on the principle that business, despite its spreadsheets and technology, is, like education, a social activity, and that there is no challenge that cannot be met by getting the right people to listen to each other and find common solutions. Your ability to motivate organizations has led you to such positions as President of the Dime Savings Bank of New York, president of Time Warner, chairman of Citigroup, and now senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners. As a result, you have had a hand in most of the large media transactions of our time. Meanwhile your ability to see the big picture has led to senior advisor positions with U.S. presidents as varied as Gerald Ford, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and, in another realm, to lead the successful effort to save The Apollo Theater. Some have wondered whether your ability to stay cool grows from your love of jazz, which runs from hosting a weekly radio show to chairing the Jazz Foundation of America—another reason you have become known with awe as the un-mogul mogul.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.


Nancy A. Roseman, Doctor of Laws

I suppose that deep knowledge of immunology might be apt preparation for a college presidency, but let’s not go there. Let’s focus instead on your increasingly deft experience as a teacher, scholar, and administrator. You have introduced countless Williams students to the marvels of biology and have published extensively your own scientific work, much of it supported by outside funders, including the National Science Foundation. As its director, you made the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford more open to science majors. As assistant to the president for special projects, you led the group that devised the ingenious system that fully and more fairly provides course books to all of our financial aid students. Your years as dean of the college brought improvements to almost every aspect of students’ lives, including creation of the Academic Resource Center to provide expanded and more coordinated academic support. Most notably, you led the enormously complex process that imagined, designed, and delivered the first true student center in the college’s history.  Paresky will serve wonderfully as the college’s living room for generations to come. For these reasons and more you head now to the presidency of Dickinson College with not only our best wishes but our admiration and deep thanks.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.


Stacy M. Schiff, Doctor of Letters

What might a biographer someday write about you? Well, let’s examine the evidence. Inveterate resident of New York City? Possibly an overreaction to growing up in small-town western Massachusetts. Deep-seated geekiness? Probably all those childhood hours holed up in the Adams Free Library. A prying interest in other people’s lives? The many hours spent gossiping in the common room of Willie F. A commitment to scrupulous research? The lingering influence no doubt of your college professors. The obsession with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry? The painful loss of that balsa wood glider brand-named Rosebud. A fixation on the aging Benjamin Franklin? Reread Freud. The depiction of Cleopatra as a woman of uncommon ability, discipline, and confidence? Pure projection. Being translated into 36 languages? Had a hard time settling down. The amassing of wide critical acclaim and honors such as the George Washington Book Prize, the Ambassador Award in American Studies, the Institut Francais’ Gilbert Chinard Prize, and even a Pulitzer? Chronic overachievement. Sorry if this cuts too close to the bone. We are merely following your own observation that “reality does not easily give up meaning; it’s the biographer’s job to clobber it into submission,” and are just trying to follow your own example since, as one reviewer has observed, “Even if forced to at gunpoint, Stacy Schiff would be incapable of writing a dull page or a lame sentence.”

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Letters, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.