Eight honorary degrees to be awarded at commencement
Soon hundreds of undergraduate, graduate, medical, and law students will gather on the lawn adjacent to the Otto G. Richter Library to receive the big payoff for their years of hard work: their academic degrees. Commencement exercises will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 14, unless otherwise indicated due to weather.
Religious advocate Martin E. Marty will deliver the keynote speech and will also receive one of eight honorary degrees to be awarded at the ceremony. Distinguished individuals who have made a notable contribution to their respective fields, the honorary degree recipients are as follows:
Martin E. Marty Successfully promoting religion in the public sphere for over 35 years, Martin E. Marty is a devoted professor and public speaker. He has been called the country's "most influential interpreter of religion" due to his efforts in uniting religion and public life. In 1997, Marty embarked on an initiative now known as the Public Religion Project with the support of the University of Chicago and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Located at the University of Chicago, the project strives to connect religious leaders and scholars to those in society who influence public life-individuals such as artists, educators, members of the media, lawmakers, and business leaders. In addition, a new center named after Marty now stands at the University of Chicago campus to help promote "public religion" endeavors.
For his contributions to the religious community, the community at large, and perhaps most importantly, for his gift of teaching, Marty is receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Fernando Botero Considered one of Latin America's most famous artists, and perhaps one of the world's most popular contemporary artists, Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero has achieved worldwide acclaim for his distinctive style. By exaggerating and enlarging human proportions, Botero has created a sensuous, yet playful art form. During his 30-year career he has produced more than 1,000 paintings, thousands of drawings, and numerous sculptures.
Since 1972, Botero has had various individual exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. In 1993, Botero exhibited some of his sculptures along the Champs Elysees, the first time a non-French artist had done so. The artist has also had an individual exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. "Form is obviously the vision you have of nature," once stated Botero in an interview. "For me it is an exultation of volume, it is sensuousness. It is a vision that must always be different."
Botero is receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts for providing 20th-century art with a whole new language of expression with his unique, imaginative style.
David S. Broder Few journalists reach the level of prominence and influence during their professional lives as David S. Broder. A highly regarded national political correspondent, syndicated columnist, and author, Broder has achieved national and worldwide acclaim during his 44-year career. As a political columnist covering national politics and American political life for The Washington Post, Broder's syndicated column appears in more than 300 newspapers worldwide.
Broder is being awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Journalism in recognition of his journalistic talent and keen political insight, which together have helped many Americans, as well as countless others around the world, stay current on political events.
Celia Cruz Few individuals have had such a lasting impact on Latin American music, and Afro-Cuban music in particular, as the talented and vibrant Celia Cruz. Often called the Queen of Latin music, Cruz has dominated the Latin music scene for almost 50 years-from her creative interpretations of mambo at the beginning of her career to her more recently celebrated salsa renditions. She has recorded more than 70 albums during her career and has received more than 100 awards, including the Smithsonian Institution's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hispanic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of the Arts, and the Hispanic Women Achievers Award.
Cruz is being awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music in recognition of her extraordinary musical talent, dazzling performance style, and for helping bring the "tropical music" of salsa to audiences and listeners worldwide.
Ernest J. Gaines Noted author Ernest J. Gaines is a formidable lyrical writer. In his moving stories about the American South he not only depicts what life is like there, he also addresses such pertinent issues as race relations. Gaines has written eight works during his fruitful career. His critically acclaimed A Lesson Before Dying won numerous awards and garnered Gaines a $335,000 MacArthur Grant. Gaines also received the Southern Writers' Conference Award, the Louisiana Library Award, the John Dos Pasos Award, the Langston Hughes Award, and the Amistad Award for the book.
Not only is Gaines a lyrical writer, his work contains an important message. "I write for the African-American youth in this country, especially the South, so that they can know who they are and where they came from and take pride in it," Gaines stated at a recent conference on Black and White Perspectives on the American South. He will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters for his important contribution to American literature, but perhaps more importantly, for his dissemination of African-American culture through his works of fiction.
Alfred G. Gilman Nobel laureate Alfred G. Gilman is receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Science for his research involving G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells. His discovery, which revealed that an activated G-protein enlists other proteins, namely effector proteins, to stimulate cellular activities, garnered him the 1994 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
Gilman has served as director of the Medical Scientist Training Program and a member of the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia. He is currently professor and chairman of pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and holds the Raymond Willie, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology.
Quincy Jones Music impresario Quincy Jones has been called the "master inventor of musical hybrids" due to his ability to successfully synthesize various musical genres-such as hip hop, jazz, and classical music-creating a new, dynamic sound. During his more than 50 years in the industry, Jones has taken on many roles including arranger, composer, stage performer, television producer, actor, and social activist, among others.
Jones has received more than 100 honors and awards during his long and rewarding career. He has garnered a record-breaking 76 Grammy nominations, 29 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, seven Oscar nominations, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He is being awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music in recognition of his extraordinary musical talent and versatility, which together have delighted audiences and listeners worldwide.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Eunice Kennedy Shriver has dedicated her life to helping those with special needs. In the process, she helped change the way the world treats the mentally retarded and those with other disabilities. She promoted changes in federal Civil Service regulations that allowed individuals with mental retardation to be hired on the basis of ability and not test scores, and four years later she established the Special Olympics, a nonprofit program of sports training and competition for individuals with mental retardation.
For her continued commitment to bettering the lives of the
less fortunate, especially those individuals with mental retardation,
Shriver will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of
All eight honorary degree recipients will be present at the commencement ceremony to accept their awards.