The Honorary Degrees

July 9th, 2013

Benjamin Affleck

Doctor of Fine Arts

Director of such films as Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone and star of Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, and Daredevil. Argo was one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2012 and won the Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA awards for Best Picture. Affleck also won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. In 2010, he founded the Eastern Congo Initiative, a U.S.–based advocacy group focused on supporting the region.


Junot Díaz

Doctor of Letters

Author of the critically acclaimed story collection Drown and the novels The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and This Is How You Lose Her, a National Book Award finalist. In 2012, Díaz was awarded a MacArthur “genius grant.” He currently serves as the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is fiction editor at the Boston Review.


Stanley Falkow ’61 PhD

Doctor of Science

One of the most productive, inventive, and influential bacteriologists of his generation. Falkow’s observations and research into the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis—how bacteria invade healthy host cells and cause sickness—have produced milestones in the fight against endemic diseases. Among his honors: election to the National Academy of Sciences and to the Royal Society as a foreign member, and recipient of the prestigious Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science. He retired from the Stanford School of Medicine in the spring of 2010 to pursue less scientific interests, including fly-fishing and flying. (He earned his pilot’s license at the age of seventy-two.)


Beverly Wade Hogan

Doctor of Humane Letters

resident of Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and a lifetime advocate for the health, education, and prosperity of the people of Mississippi. She began her career as a therapist and was then executive director at the Hinds County Mental Health Association in Jackson. In 1983, she became executive director of the Mississippi Mental Health Association, establishing a rape crisis center, a shelter for battered women, and Mississippi’s first psychiatric halfway house. Her fourteen years in state government have included being CEO of the Governor’s Office of Federal State Programs and a commissioner with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission. She is a member of President Obama’s board of advisors for historically black colleges and universities.


Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Doctor of Medical Science

President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health and health care. With her training in geriatrics at Harvard Medical School, she served as the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems at the University of Pennsylvania and chief of geriatric medicine at Penn’s medical school. She was known for making house calls and creating care-giving teams with other specialists and nurse practitioners to better serve her patients.


Eduardo J. Padrón

Doctor of Humane Letters

President of Miami Dade College. He has led the school in making significant progress in access, retention, graduation, and overall performance of its students. Miami Dade enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution of higher education in the United States. Padrón arrived in the United States at age fifteen as a refugee under Operation Peter Pan, a federal project that placed Cuban children with friends or relatives or in U.S. group homes. In 2009, Time magazine named him one of the nation’s ten best college presidents.

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Related Issue
July/August 2013