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NEW: Brown to Recognize 9 Alumni with Honorary Degrees

Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Brown University will offer honorary degrees to nine distinguished alumni at the school's 246th Commencement on Sunday, May 25th.

  • Lee Berk ’64, former president of Berklee College of Music and an advocate for broader community programs of musical education
  • Beatrice E. Coleman ’25, schoolteacher, church musician, and former secretary of the NAACP’s New England Regional Conference (awarded posthumously)
  • Jeffrey Eugenides ’82, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and author
  • Arthur Horwich ’72, M.D.’75, physician, geneticist, and cellular biochemist
  • Mary Lou Jepsen ’87, Ph.D. ’97, electrical engineer and innovator of computer-driven graphic displays
  • Debra L. Lee ’76, chairman and CEO of BET Networks
  • Lois Lowry ’58, award-winning children’s author
  • Nalini Nadkarni ’76, forest ecologist and science communicator
  • Thomas Perez ’83, civil rights attorney and U.S. Secretary of Labor

 

Read more about these 9 distinguished alumni here

The University chose to recognize Brown alumni with honorary degrees in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1764. None of the nine will be the Commencement speaker. Since its earliest days, Brown has reserved that honor for members of the graduating class. Commencement Weekend offers other opportunities for public presentations, however. Berk, Horwich, Lowry, Jepsen, Eugenides, and Lee will present Commencement Forums on Saturday.

Nadkarni will deliver the Baccalaureate address to the Class of 2014 on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Meeting House of the First Baptist Church in America. (The Baccalaureate service will be simulcast for family and friends on large monitors in Sayles Hall, the Salomon Center, and on the College Green.)

Times and locations will be posted on the University’s Commencement website, which also offers the full roster of Commencement Forums and information on other Commencement Weekend events.

 

Related Slideshow: The Brown Alumni Who Run This Country

Let's take a look at the Brown University graduates who currently play vital roles in running this country:

Prev Next

Jack A. Markell

Governor of Delaware (2009 - Current)

Class of 1982

After obtaining his undergraduate degree in economics and graduate studies from Brown in 1982, Governor Markell went on to earn his MBA at the University of Chicago.  He left the private sector in 1998 upon his election as State Treasurer of Delaware, a role which he served until becoming his home state's Governor in 2009.

 

Photo: SenRockefeller, Flickr

Prev Next

Piyush "Bobby" Jindal

Governor of Louisiana (2008 - Current)

Chairman of the Republican Governors Association

Class of 1992

Governor Jindal is one of the more recognizable names to come out of Brown, largely due to his role in dealing with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off of his state's coast in 2010. He earned degrees in biology and public policy from Brown in 1991, and has since held many public offices; including a term in Congress as the Representative of Louisiana's 1st District. 

 

Photo: Derek Bridges, Flickr

Prev Next

Lincoln Chafee

Governor of Rhode Island (2011 - Current)

Class of 1975

Rhode Island born and bred, Governor Chafee has been in the public sector for most of his adult life. After serving as Mayor of Warwick, he followed in his father John Chafee's footsteps, becoming a U.S. Senator before becoming Rhode Island's 74th Governor.  He recently announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Prev Next

Maggie Hassan

Governor of New Hampshire (2013 - Current)

Class of 1980

After Graduating from Brown in 1980, Governor Hassan went on to the Northeastern University School of Law.  After working as an attorney for several years, Hassan went on to hold a seat in the New Hampshire State Senate for three terms before losing her seat in 2010.  She won last year's Gubernatorial election, carrying every county in New Hampshire.

 

Photo: Roger H. Goun, Wikimedia

Prev Next

David Cicilline

U.S. Representative - Rhode Island - 1st District (2011 - Current)

Class of 1983

Along with John F. Kennedy Jr., Cicilline established Brown University's branch of the College Democrats of America.  He held several roles in Rhode Island politics, including Mayor of Providence from 2003 to 2011 before representing Rhode Island's 1st District in the U.S. House. 

Prev Next

Dan Maffei

U.S. Representative - New York - 24th District (2013 - Current)

Formerly U.S. Representative - New York - 25th District (2009 - 2011)

Class of 1990

Representative Maffei received his degree from Brown in history before beginning a career in journalism.  He worked as a reporter and producer for ABC's Syracuse, NY affiliate for several years, then worked behind the scenes in politics until deciding to run for office himself. 

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John Hugh "Buddy" Dyer

Mayor of Orlando, FL (2003 - Current)

Class of 1980

Mayor Dyer received a law degree from the University of Florida after earning his Bachelor's Degree from Brown.  He went on to serve ten years in Florida's State Senate before becoming Orlando's 32nd Mayor.

 

Photo: Carol Cox, Flickr

Prev Next

Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Board of Governors: Vice Chair (2010 - Current)

Federal Reserve Board of Governors: Chair (Nominated)

Class of 1967

Yellen graduated summa cum laude from Brown University in 1967 with a degree in Economics. She went on to hold many prestigious titles in the field of economics, including serving as Chair of the Council of Economic advisers under President Bill Clinton.  She was recently nominated by Barrack Obama to become the Chair of the Federal Reserve, if confirmed, she will become the first woman in U.S. history to hold that title. 

Prev Next

Richard G. Olson

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (2012 - Current)

Class of 1981

Ambassador Olson graduated with honors from Brown with 1991 with a degree in law and society.  Before being appointed to his current role, he also served as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, U.S. Consul General in Dubai, and as Deputy Chief of Mission to the the U.S. Mission to NATO.

Prev Next

Rosemary DiCarlo

U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2010 - Current)

Class of 1969 (M.A. 1971, Ph.D. 1979)

 

Ambassador Dicarlo has led a very distinguished career in diplomacy following her graduation from Brown University.  She has received multiple honors, including the Department of Sate's Sustained Superior Achievement Award.  She also served as acting U.S. Ambassador to the UN in July of 2013. 

Prev Next

Thomas Perez

U.S. Secretary of Labor (2013 - Current)

Class of 1983

Following his 1983 graduation from Brown, Secretary Perez began a long and distinguished career in the public sector. Before the 2013 appointment to his current role, Perez worked for the Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General in their Civil Rights Division.

Prev Next

Jim Yong Kim

President of the World Bank Group (2012 - Current)

Class of 1982

Before being elected as the 12th President of the World Bank Group, Dr. Jim Yong Kim was a shining star at Brown.  He graduated magna cum laude in 1982, and went on to become a physician and anthropologist, serving as an adviser to the World Health Organization.  In 2009, he was named President of Dartmouth College, becoming the first Asian-American to head an Ivy League school.

Prev Next

Norman L. Eisen

U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic (2011 - Current)

Class of 1985

After graduating with honors from Brown in 1985, Ambassador Eisen went on to study at Harvard Law and was classmates owith future President, Barack Obama.  In the private sector, Eisen made a name for himself, earning the distinction as one of Washington's top lawyers by Washingtonian Magazine. 

Prev Next

Adam Namm

U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador (2012 - Current)

Class of 1985

Ambassador Namm graduated magna cum laude from Brown in 1985 with a degree in  International Relations.  He has spent his entire career in foreign service, and was the Acting Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations before being appointed to his current post. 

Prev Next

David Wade

Chief of Staff to Secretary of State John Kerry (2013 - Current)

Class of 1997

While at Brown, Mr. Wade was awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman scholarship.  He went on to serve some of this Nation's top leaders, first acting as Joseph Biden's National Spokesman and Communications Advisor. He then became Senator John Kerry's Chief of Staff in 2008, transitioning with the same title in Kerry's new role as Secretary of State.

 
 

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