PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — At its 247th Commencement Sunday, May 24, 2015, Brown University conferred honorary doctorates on six candidates who have achieved great distinction in a variety of fields:
- Robert A. Corrigan, university president, American studies scholar;
- Louise Lamphere, anthropologist, feminist scholar;
- David E. McKinney, business executive, civic leader;
- Tracee Ellis Ross, actress, performance artist;
- Susan Solomon, atmospheric chemist;
- Kathryn D. Sullivan, astronaut, geoscientist.
Honorary degrees are awarded by the Board of Fellows of the Corporation of Brown University. They were conferred by Brown University President Christina H. Paxson during the University Commencement ceremony on the College Green. English and Latin texts of the individual citations follow here.
Robert A. Corrigan
Doctor of Humane Letters
Distinguished Brown graduate, educator, civic leader, and lifelong champion of diversity, you have dedicated yourself to changing the landscape of higher education. From your time on the faculty of the University of Iowa, where you helped to establish one of the country’s first African-American studies programs, to your 24 years of leadership at San Francisco State University, you have imparted your vision of inclusion, opportunity, and community service to thousands of students and fellow educators across the nation. Under your leadership, San Francisco State University has become one of the leading public, urban universities in America and a model of community engagement and pluralism. You brought your personal belief in the power of cross-cultural understanding to SFSU from your prior position as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and made a point of deliberately diversifying the curriculum, the faculty and the student body. In addition, your focus on engaged scholarship and research with the potential for strong social impact cultivated a higher level of intellectual distinction at the university. San Francisco State University would not be the progressive institution it is today without your insistence on transforming the status quo and promoting tolerance across the community. For your tireless efforts to break down barriers, create a more dynamic and meaningful learning environment for your students and promote service throughout the Bay Area and beyond, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
Tu, o praeclare alumne Universitatis Brunensis, magister, princeps civium, tuam per vitam reformandis studiis doctrinae se dedisti, excitans tuo exemplo permultos discipulos et magistros ex civitate nostra alios complecti et aliis occasionem dare atque servire. Te praeside quattuor et viginti annos, Universitas Publica in Sancto Francisco facta est exemplum quod nunc alia collegia aemulant. Confidens sensu communi omnium hominum rationem studiorum et facultatem et classem discipulorum et famam academicam in tua universitate amplificavisti. Praesertim tibi, si cuiquam, SFSU tantum progressum debet. Quod terminos rumpere, locos discendi commodiores eis qui scientiam adipisci student efficere, et beneficia non solum in regionibus quae Sinum Sancti Francisci circumdant sed etiam in orbe terrarum augere, assiduus laboravisti, Doctorem Litterarum Humanarum salutamus, honoris causa.
Doctor of Humane Letters
Renowned anthropologist, professor, and feminist scholar, your actions early in your career paved the way for positive change at Brown University and fairer hiring and tenure practices for Brown faculty. You sacrificed energy and resources to pursue a class action lawsuit against Brown at a time when the University’s women faculty members numbered just 25 in total. Thanks to your perseverance, the University revamped its policies and over the course of the subsequent 15 years increased the number of tenured women professors fivefold. In addition, you made gender issues a permanent aspect of your scholarly work, co-editing one of the first volumes to address the anthropological study of women’s status. As president of the American Anthropological Association, you pushed for more research on poverty, health, and family evolution, in order to have a greater impact on current societal dilemmas. Your contributions to both academia and public service during your time at both Brown and the University of New Mexico have inspired the next generation of anthropologists and ensured that there is greater understanding of the ways in which societal changes affect women, both in the home and in the workplace. For your courage in standing up for equity and fairness for all faculty and your exemplary examinations of urban anthropology, healthcare practices and gender issues, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
O anthropologa, professor, scholastica praeclara, principio cursus tui apud universitatem nostram effecisti ut omnes professores Brunenses meritos honores aeque adipisci possent. Cum professores muliebres modo quinque et viginti essent, tu assidua Universitati Brunensi intendisti litem, ex qua prospera sequentibus quindecem annis femininarum professorum numeros Universitas quinquiplex augeret. Praeterea, ut emendatrix primi libri anthropologici de mulierum statu et praeses Collegii Anthropologici Americani, paupertatis valetudinisque familiarumque ampliorem investigationem qua difficiles nodi societatis solverentur poscebas. Exemplum operum tuorum et academicorum et pro bono publico quae facta apud Brunensem atque Novi Mexici Universitatem sunt sequentes inspirat ut hodie mulieribus consecutiones mutationum rerum melius intellegantur. Propter fortitudinem, aequitatis custodiam, investigationem anthropologiae urbanae eximiam, Doctorem Litterarum Humanarum te salutamus, honoris causa.
David E. McKinney
Doctor of Humane Letter
Highly regarded executive, philanthropist, and long-time member of the Brown family, your career has been marked by leadership, perseverance and a deep desire to enhance the University’s teaching, research and civic engagement on a national and international scale. Beginning as a sales representative at IBM, you worked your way up through several positions to the company’s management committee and responsibility for its operations in Europe. In total, you spent 36 years at IBM applying your considerable knowledge in a variety of areas––including marketing, information technology and human resources––to support its global business concerns. Your guidance also helped modernize the operations of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where you served as president. Your impact at Brown has been equally transformative. As a two-time trustee, a senior fellow, chair of the Watson Institute for International Studies Board of Overseers and a member of the Advisory Council on Computing and Information Technology, you have helped shape several aspects of Brown’s contemporary mission. In addition, as president of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, you have created a partnership with Brown that has resulted in substantial growth for the Watson Institute and faculty support in applied mathematics and computer science. To honor your outstanding professional achievements, your exemplary service to Brown, and your ongoing commitment to improving higher education, we bestow on you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
O praeclare dux, amice generi hominum, comes Universitatis Brunensis, tu doctrinam, scientiam et artes civiles non solum per civitatem nostram sed etiam per orbem terrarum auxisti. Triginta sex annos in societate, nomine “IBM”, ex artibus vendendorum rerum, administrandorum systematum informationis et curandorum hominum sublimi vertice sidera feris. Te duce novae aetates et Museo in Novo Eburaco, nomine “The Met”, et Universitati Brunensi satae sunt. Te praeside collegium, nomine Thomas J. Watson, sibi foedere et societate Universitatem Brunensem ad disciplinas iuris gentium, informaticae computatralis et mathematicae applicatae excolendas adiunxit. Pro rebus gestis, operis assiduis pro Universitate Brunensi et studiis doctissimorum instruendorum, te in Litteris Humanis Doctorem salutamus, honoris causa.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Doctor of Fine Arts
Award-winning actress, performance artist, and motivational speaker, you have parlayed your creativity, wit, and irreverent sense of humor into a successful career in entertainment. Since your breakout role in the television show “Girlfriends,” you have charmed audiences and displayed grace, talent and a strong sense of self. Whether you are onstage, on the small or big screen, or embodying your “alter egos” at New York Fashion Week, your work combines detailed knowledge of human nature with boldness to create characters that are unforgettable. With the recent success of your new ABC comedy show “Black-ish,” your reach has grown to include an even wider audience. As a result, your passion for facilitating self-expression and broadening the definition of what is beautiful is affecting more people. As a motivational speaker, you are dedicated to helping others, and in particular, teenage girls, find their inner strength, confidence, and pathways to satisfaction. In addition, your love of fashion helps you find common ground with women of all backgrounds and provide heartfelt advice about maintaining your personal style in a world that is full of imitation. For your original portrayals of interesting and eccentric characters, your willingness to be a mentor and inspiration to young girls, and your continued desire to push the boundaries of imagination in a variety of media, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.
O tu quae histrio praemiis perornata, scaena superata, quae suasor boni ex animo exhortata, quae ingenio impulsa impetu innisa necnon lingua lasciva, tute tibi viam munivisti in ipsam arcem artis. Inde velut omne punctum tulisti conspicua tuis virtutibus ex quo primum laudem meruisti ob fabulam tuam Girlfriends. Certe quocumque loco agis partes, naturam rerum humanarum audaciter scrutata, personas formasti perduraturas quae quidem latere non possint. itaque iam innotescente tua nova ABC comoedia Black-ish, plurimus te libenter spectat et audit. Voces vero et formas varii generis laude dignata compluribus etiam profuisti. quantopere niteris suadendo ut omnes, et praecipue puellae, fiant fortes animo necnon confirmati et contenti! gaudium mundo coniunxit te cum feminis omnis generis et effecit ut consilium praebere possis quamadmodum suus cuique cultus inveniri possit inter solitos tantum imitari. Pro personis tuis venustis et unicis, pro consilio et exemplo tuo puellis, postremo pro istis tuis semper novis omnis generis ausis, idcirco te Doctorem in Artibus Elegantibus salutamus, honoris causa.
Doctor of Science
Widely acknowledged as one of the most distinguished climate scientists in the world, you have forever changed the way we protect our atmosphere and helped to promote awareness of the challenges our society faces as a result of climate change. As a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, you led two expeditions to Antarctica, where you were the first to propose an explanation for the hole in the ozone layer that appears in that region. Your experiments established cholorofluorocarbons as the cause of this damage, and led to a global protocol to stop production of substances that deplete ozone levels. Your subsequent academic work and service on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has assisted in illuminating both the severity and the irreversibility of global warming, and you continue to study and disseminate information about the connections between surface chemistry and rapid climate change. In 2011, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named you the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of atmospheric chemistry and climate science, a position in which you are able to have a hand in training the next generation of scientists. Among your most impressive accolades, you have been awarded the U.S. National Medal of Science, the highest award of the French Academy of Sciences, and had an Antarctic glacier named after you. For your pioneering research, your influential service on a global scale, and your abiding concern for the health of our planet, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
Physica climatologiae clarissima, tu modum quo atmosphaeram nostram conservemus commutavisti in perpetuum, et pericula quae nobis minantur demonstravisti. Ut physica officium tuum pro republica sequens, itinera duo ad Terram Antarcticam explorandam fecisti, ubi tu prima explicavisti cur super plaga illa mundi appareret rima quaedam caeli. Investigationes tuae quae corpora hoc vitium faciant demonstraverunt. Postea dictis factisque tulisti opem illustrandi severitatem et implacabilitatem calefactionis globalis, et usquequaque investigas atque doces res varias ad commutationem climatis rapidam pertinentes. Annos quattuor abhinc, Massachusettense Institutum Technologiae te appellavit professorem chemiae atmosphaericae et climatologiae. Per hanc sellam eminentissimam educare physicos aetatis proximae potes. Inter egregiissimas laudes tuas sunt praemia suprema quae sodalitates eruditissimae ad honorem tuum contulerunt. Denique, ne omittatur illa moles glacialis Terrae Antarcticae quae e nomine tuo nominata est. Pro investigatione strenua tua, pro meritis tuis ubique comprobatis, et pro studio constantissimo ad valetudinem mundi nostri conservandam, te Scientiae Doctorem salutamus, honoris causa.
Kathryn D. Sullivan
Doctor of Science
Distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut, and intrepid explorer, your career path has taken you beyond the boundaries of pure academic study and allowed you to examine the Earth from a vantage point that few will ever experience—space. With degrees in geology and Earth sciences under your belt, you became one of the first of six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps, and eventually, the first American woman to walk in space. You flew three shuttle missions during your 15-year tenure at NASA, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Telescope. In addition, you have faithfully served the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for many years, first as the chief scientist overseeing research and technology related to climate change, marine biodiversity, mapping services, and satellite instrumentation, to name just a few areas. In recognition of your extensive knowledge of oceanic and atmospheric concerns, you were confirmed by the Senate as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator in March of 2014. Your expertise has always been in great demand, and you have provided leadership as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University, and a member of both the National Science Board and the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observation. For your abundant contributions to science, education and the public good, and your ongoing commitment to improving the state of our planet for future generations, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
O excellens indagatrix veri, o astronauta americana, contemplans eas stellas, quas numquam ex hoc loco vidimus, et eas magnitudines planetarum, quas vix concipimus! At hic in terra, femina egregia, cum administratione nationali rerum et aeronaticarum et caelestium diligenter laboravisti. Prima femina americana caelo inambulavisti, illuc in machina ter volavisti et telescopium hubblense statuisti. Dehinc investigationes scientificas in administratione nationali marium aetherisque curabas. His rebus tuis celebratis, a senatoribus tam maxime probata es ut magistratus duos tibi mandarent. Nunc consilia tua a multis quaesita et a te omnibus hominibus munifice data sunt. Propter res gestas pro scientia et disciplina, et propter conservationem mundi nostri pro saeculis futuris, te Doctorem in Scientia salutamus, honoris causa.