Brown conferred honorary degrees on 10 distinguished candidates during its 243rd Commencement exercises, Sunday, May 29, 2011. The honorands included Olympian Katie King Crowley, online editor Arianna Huffington, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, mathematician David B. Mumford, actor Jack Nicholson, playwright Lynn Ida Nottage, physicist Lisa Randall, human rights activist Kenneth Roth, astronaut David R. Scott, and poet and editor Zhenkai Zhao (Bei Dao). Texts of the citations follow here.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University conferred 10 honorary degrees during its 243rd Commencement Sunday afternoon, May 29, 2011, on the College Green. The degrees were conferred in Latin, as are all Brown degrees. Brown President Ruth J. Simmons read the following honorary citations in English during the ceremony.

 

Katie King Crowley: Doctor of Humane Letters
Katie King Crowley Doctor of Humane Letters
Katie King Crowley  Olympian
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)
Biographical notes

Amazing athlete and excellent educator, you have achieved international success at the highest levels of your sport. Captain of both the women’s ice hockey and softball teams as a Brown undergraduate, you still hold the record as the all-time leading scorer in hockey and you entered the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame for both sports. Three-time Olympic medalist, you represented the United States on the national ice hockey team for nine years. Today, as the head coach of the Boston College Eagles, you continue to inspire others to excel as athletes and as human beings. For your dedication to excellence in education and athletics, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Tu, o femina validissima, omnino praecellis cum docendo tum in ludis athleticis in quibus competitores ex omnibus nationibus orbis terrarum peritissima vicisti. Cum apud Universitatem Brunensem mentem studiis baccalaureatis intenderes, factionibus muliebribus fustium glacialium pilae mollisque ludorum praefuisti. Quin etiam in illo saepius pilam trans finem quam ceteri adhuc impulisti ac in utroque, ubi stant imagines clarissimorum athletarum Brunensium, ibi et tua. Tu praeterea, quae novem annos pro patria una cum factione Americana ludi fustium glacialium contendisti, ter tulisti ludis Olympiacis maximum praemium. Hodie denique alii cum te ducem Aqulias Collegii Bostoniensis exercentem spectaverunt tuo exemplo impelluntur ut quisque se meliorem athletamque hominemque reddat. Propter te artibus scholasticis athleticisque deditam, te Doctorem in Litteris Humanioribus salutamus, honoris causa.

 

Arianna Huffington: Doctor of Humane Letters
Arianna Huffington Doctor of Humane Letters
Arianna Huffington  Author, Internet Publisher
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)
Biographical notes

Author, editor, publisher, pundit, and voice of The Huffington Post, you have provoked and informed discussion and debate from the dinner table to the White House. From the beginning as President of the renowned Cambridge Union to the present day, you have enlivened the marketplace of ideas with staunch conviction, a willingness to listen, and a devotion to freedom of speech. Founder and champion of one of the most visited, linked to, and quoted websites on the Internet, you have developed an international platform for a wide and generous spectrum of opinion and commentary. For your passion for the art of public discourse, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

O femina artifex verborum, multa sunt a te scripta emendata editaque, multae sententiae tuae per acta Huffingtoniana disseminatae, multae disputationes in domis humilioribus nobilissimisque per te habitae incitataeque. Te tam firmam persuasione, tam promptam auscultando, tam deditam linguae expeditae ostendisti ut res ingeniosas et tum cum tiro illustri Societati Cantabrigiensi praefuisti et nunc excites. Tu quidem situm condidisti cum aliis fere coniunctum qui est a plurimis visus connexus prolatusque, quam ob rem omnibus gentibus orbis terrarum licet disputare et de cuiuslibet modi rebus dissere. Te, praeclara dux nostrorum temporum, quippe cui hoc semper curae sit, ut possint omnes libere sermones conferre, Doctorem in Litteris Humanioribus salutamus, honoris causa.

 

Micholas Kristof: Doctor of Letters
Micholas Kristof Doctor of Letters
Nicholas D. Kristof  Journalist
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)
Biographical notes

Peripatetic warrior for justice and peace, you champion those who might otherwise be forgotten or ignored. Your words on the pages of the world’s great newspapers and on the screens of your more than one million Twitter followers bring light to the darkest corners of the globe. The Pulitzer Board recognized your brilliance and contributions to humanity for the second time in 2006, citing your “graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur.” For your innate curiosity and desire to learn, for your ability to distill complex geopolitical problems into prose accessible to all, and for your persistent belief in the ability of human beings to treat each other and their environment with dignity and respect, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Pro iustitia atque pace vagaris militans et defendis eos qui aliter fortasse e memoria excidere vel neglegi possent. Tua verba in orbis terrarum diurnorum actorum clarissimorum paginis atque in sententiis quas per instrumentum nomine Twitter edis tenebras mundi illustrant. Ingenium tuum et tua in gentem humanam merita Collegium Pulitzer AD MMVI iterum approbavit, memorans “tuas cum evidentia et affectu renuntiatas paginas, quae periculo tuo oculos omnium ad generis occidionem in regione Darfur verterunt. Pro cupiditate scientiae innata et insito discendi studio, pro facultate quaestiones involutissimas per orationem solutam facilem intellectu perlucidissimas reddendi et pro fide potestatis hominum inter se verecunde atque reverenter habendi, Litterarum Doctorem te animo grato salutamus, honoris causa.

 

David Mumford: Doctor of Science
David Mumford Doctor of Science
David B. Mumford  Mathematician
Doctor of Science (Sci.D.)
Biographical notes

Collaborator and catalyst, you are a pioneering contributor to fields of inquiry that have blossomed at Brown — brain science, computer vision, neurobiology, cognitive science, the biology and psychology of perception — as well as pure and applied mathematics. As a generous member of the Brown faculty, you taught undergraduate and graduate students how to see the world in new ways and inspired the best in colleagues across the world. Awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor, you represent the brilliant tradition of Brown faculty achievements. For your contributions to the field of mathematics, which fundamentally changed algebraic geometry, Brown is pleased to join your international chorus of admirers by honoring you with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Socius et quasi igniculus, multa illis disciplinis de cerebro, de rebus sensu percipiendis, de mentibus, de mathematicis attulisti, quae apud Universitatem Brunensem floruerunt. Benignus doctor hic inter hunc ordinem professorum scientiae et artium, omnes discipulos res sapere novis rationibus docuisti atque tuis stimulis socios per orbem terrarum ad maximum studium diligentiamque incitavisti. Summo praemio Americanis doctis scientia accepto, exemplar rerum gestarum clararum hic inites. Quod operam dedisti ut algebraicam geometriam omnino mutes, cum laudatoribus ex natione omne te Doctorem in Scientia salutamus, honoris causa.

 

Jack Nicholson: Doctor of Fine Arts
Jack Nicholson Doctor of Fine Arts
John J. Nicholson  Actor
Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)
Biographical notes

Actor, director, producer, writer, you have had a career without peer. With twelve nominations and four Academy Awards, you are the most nominated male actor in the history of the awards. Recognized and revered by your fellow actors, you have created a body of work over five decades that will be remembered for generations to come. From the open road of 1960s America to the streets of South Boston, you have brought life to a legion of complex characters which are indelible features of our cultural landscape. You have entertained us and shown us the truth. You once said with fierce conviction, “You can’t handle the truth!” We can handle this truth: You are the most skilled actor of our lifetime. For your commitment to the performing arts, for your dedication to your craft, and for your ability to make us laugh and cry at the same time, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.

Histrio, choragus, scriptor, Ambivius Turpio nostri temporis – felicissimus omnium scaenicorum permanes. Summis praemiis pro rebus scaenicis duodecies petitis, magna cum gloria ter triumphasti. Nullus vere actor totiens dignus his praemiis nominatus est quotiens tu. Idcirco vir clarissimus ab histrionibus sociis appellatus es et nos opera tua per quinquaginta annos confecta in posteritatem recordabimur. In fabulis de otio Americano sextae decadis et de Bostonia australi personas multiplices tibi impositas egisti, quas magna cum admiratione semper reminiscemur. Nos oblectans vertitatem patefecisti. In illa fabula de Paucis Bonis vehementer declarasti, “vos veritatem non valetis comprendere!” At hanc veritatem quidem valde comprendimus: tu es optimus histrio nostrae aetatis. Propter te scaenicae deditum et tantum studium tamque multam operam in rebus scaenicis ponentem, et quod efficis ut lacrimas et gaudium misceamus, te Doctorem in Artibus Elegantibus salutamus honoris causa.

 

Lynn Nottage: Doctor of Fine Arts
Lynn Nottage Doctor of Fine Arts
Lynn Ida Nottage  Playwright
Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)
Biographical notes

Honored by your peers, acclaimed by audiences on Broadway and beyond, yours is among the most effective and evocative voices of your generation. As a distinguished, distinctive, and much heralded playwright, you create characters in all the complexity and depth found in life. From your days in the classroom at Brown, themes of justice, equality, and social responsibility have resounded throughout your work. Finding inspiration in history’s erasures and forgotten and ignored individuals, your work at once honors the overlooked past and with searing honesty sheds light on the present. For your commitment to representing those who are unable to speak for themselves and for your unmatched ability to enlighten while entertaining, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.

Honorata a paribus tuis, laudata a coronis auditorum et in Via Lata et ultra, inter voces tuae aetatis efficacissimas et ad quoslibet affectus eliciendos aptissimas tua est. Ut insignis, singularis et valde approbata fabularum scriptor, personas varietate et affectibus gravibus quae in vita ipsa inveniuntur donatas fingis. A temporibus hic apud almam matrem tuam Universitatem Brunensem, res ad iustitiam atque aequalitatem et officia communia pertinentes reboaverunt apud opera tua. Damnationibus memoriae atque per homines oblitos neglectosque incensa, per tua opera memoriam praeteritorum temporum colis et probitate adurenti aetatem nostram illustras. Pro studio ad causam eorum qui pro se dicere non possunt agendam et pro singulari facultate utile dulci miscendi, Bellarum Artium Doctorem te salutamus.

 

Lisa Randall: Doctor of Science
Lisa Randall Doctor of Science
Lisa Randall  Theoretical Physicist
Doctor of Science (Sci.D.)
Biographical notes

Pioneering physicist, you have a rare gift of being able to explain the mysteries of the physical universe to the public at large. One of the most promising theoretical physicists of your generation, your contributions to the study of the properties and interactions of matter have transformed our understanding of the cosmos. From developing and testing theories of the most elusive concepts of physics to writing the libretto for an opera to being a role model for girls and women interested in science, your talents stretch across many dimensions. In all of them, you are a leader to be admired and heeded. For your singular contributions to the academy and society at large we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Excellens et praestans docta in scientia rerum naturae, res occultissimas mundi populo ignaro expedire potuisti. Quod est apud homines perdoctos rarissima facultas. Una ex principibus physicis contemplativis tuae aetatis, propter tua opera de ratione et concursu materiae naturam rerum melius comprendimus et intellegimus. Praeterea tantum ac tam singularem ingenium possides ut rationes physicorum reconditorum perite describere et explicare, “libretto”- ut in lingua Italica dicitur - scribere, et exemplar omnibus puellis feminisque scientiae deditis esse possis. Quam ob rem magna cum admiratione tibi auscultamus. Propter tua studia academica et popularia, te Doctorem in Scientia salutamus honoris causa.

 

Kenneth Roth: Doctor of Humane Letters
Kenneth Roth Doctor of Humane Letters
Kenneth Roth  Human Rights Advocate
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)
Biographical notes

While still a student at Brown, you demonstrated through community service and campus activism what would become your life-long commitment to issues of social justice. As Executive Director of Human Rights Watch for eighteen years, you have led a concerted campaign to respect the dignity of the human experience both in this nation and around the globe. In addition to widespread efforts to bring justice to victims of the worst abuses and crimes against humanity, you and your colleagues have laid the groundwork for international treaties banning land mines, cluster munitions, and child soldiers. For your unyielding commitment to the rights of all humans wherever they reside, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Cum litterarum studiosus apud Universitatem Brunensem esses, societati adiumentum ferendo te dediturum per totam vitam aequitati monstrabas. Duodeviginti annos Custodibus Iurum Humanorum praefectus domique peregreque pro virtute humanarum vitarum strenue laboravisti. Tu autem sociique tantum quantum poteratis conati estis punire eos qui nefaria detestabilia horribilissima facinora in homines committant; etiamque adiuvistis ad facienda foedera quae non modo insidiis armisque interdicant, sed etiam militari delectui liberorum. Quod firmus pro aequitate omnium hominum per totam orbem terrarum propugnabas, te Doctorem Humanarum Litterarum salutamus, honoris causa.

 

David Scott: Doctor of Science
David Scott Doctor of Science
David R. Scott  Astronaut
Doctor of Science (Sci.D.)
Biographical notes

The seventh human to walk on the Moon, you have been a trailblazer throughout your storied career. Fighter pilot, engineer, and explorer, you were uniquely qualified to answer President Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the Moon, and as a Gemini and Apollo astronaut you played a critical role in the achievement of that dream. As Commander of Apollo 15, you and your crew made geological discoveries that deepened our understanding of the formation of the Moon and the earliest history of Earth. Your accomplishments have been many, but none are dearer to our hearts than your devotion to Geological Sciences at Brown. For all that you have achieved in the worlds of science, exploration, and public service, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Princeps per totam aetatem claram, machinator, aviator in bello, explorator viarum inusitatarum, septimus tuis pedibus lunam pressisti. Cum Praeses Kennedy Americano populo inclamavisset ut sublimibus feriamus lunam verticibus, imprimis aptus ad hanc finem perficiendam prae ceteris adiuvisti. Dux navis, Apollo XV nomine, cum tuis nautis astrorum talia nova saxa invenisti ut amplius comprenderemus quomodo natura olim lunam et orbem terrarium conformavisset. Multos cursos peregisti; quin etiam nobis gratissimum est tuum studium scientiae geologicae apud Universitatem Brunensem. Propter tuas res gestas in scientia, in officio publico, in terris novis explorandis, te Doctorem in Scientia salutamus, honoris causa.

 

Zhenkai Zhao (Bei Dao): Doctor of Letters
Zhenkai Zhao (Bei Dao) Doctor of Letters
Zhenkai Zhao (Bei Dao)  Poet, Writer, Editor
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)
Biographical notes

Through your insightful, powerful, and haunting poems you have given voice to a movement of freedom and expression in your home country and abroad. You once wrote: “I don’t believe the sky is blue; I don’t believe in thunder’s echoes; I don’t believe that dreams are false; I don’t believe that death has no revenge.” From Tiananmen Square and beyond, these words have inspired young people yearning for change. As the founder and publisher of an underground literary journal you have, often at great personal cost to yourself and your family, created and nurtured a platform for your fellow citizens to express themselves to the world. For your persistent faith in the fundamental goodness of humanity and the power of the written word and for your deep belief in freedom for all, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Acuta valida inquietantia, carmina tua ab omnibus gentibus magnifice laudata sunt, quibus verbis venustis linguam Sinensem civi, homini privato, animo concipienti gaudia futura recuperavisti. Olim haec edidisti, “non credo caelum caeruleum, non credo tonitrua ubique resonare, non credo ea quae in somniis visa sunt falsa esse, atque non credo Mortem inultam esse.” Quae carmina iam inde a caede in Foro Caelestis Pacis perque totas gentes spem iuvenibus reddere meliorem orbem terrarum desiderantibus addiderunt. Ephemeride litterarum autem condita oppressaque magno cum malo tuo copias poetis sociis ad edenda carmina eorum praebes. Propter ingenium atque fidem animi humani validitatisque carminum, te Doctorem Litterarum salutamus, honoris causa.