This Year's Honorary Degree Recipients Are...

Tom Brokaw, Speaker

Tom Brokaw, the Commencement speak-er, is anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw." He is well known for his numerous broadcasting "firsts" with world leaders and world events; he con-ducted the first exclusive one-on-one interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, was the only anchor on location the night the Berlin Wall fell, and was the first American anchor to report on human rights abuses in Tibet and conduct an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama. Mr. Brokaw has covered every presidential election since 1968 and served as NBC's White House correspondent during the Watergate era. He was anchor of NBC News' "Today" show from 1976 to 1981 before being named sole anchor of "Nightly News" in 1983. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Alfred I. duPont Award for his interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, an Emmy for the NBC News special "China in Crisis" and NBC News' coverage of the mid-west floods in 1992, and a Peabody Award for his 1989 special "To Be An American." He is an adviser to the Asia Society and a trustee of the Norton Simon Museum and his alma mater, the University of South Dakota.

Rita Dove

Rita Dove is the Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia. From 1993 to 1995 she served as Poet Laureate of the United States, the youngest person and first African-American ever to hold that title. Her volumes of poetry include Mother Love, Selected Poems, Grace Notes, Museum, The Yellow House on the Corner, and the poetic narrative Thomas and Beulah, which won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. She has also authored a novel, Through the Ivory Gate, as well as several short stories, plays, and articles. Among the many honors she has received are the Renaissance Forum Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the NAACP Great American Artist Award, and the Gold Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. She has also been a Mellon Fellow at the National Humanities Center, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Uni-versitaet Tuebingen. Ms. Dove is currently sits on the editorial boards of several literary journals and reviews, is a member the North Carolina Writers' Network, serves as a consultant to Lifetime television's "Woman to Woman on Lifetime," and was on the National Launch Committee of AmeriCorps. She received her B.A. from Miami University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.

Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler is one of America's greatest living artists and a major figure in Abstract Expressionist painting. Applying acrylic colors with her innovative "soak and stain" technique to unprimed canvases, Ms. Frankenthaler has created an influential body of work that is considered a bridge between the "Action Painting" of Jackson Pollack and the "color field" painting that she pioneered with her 1952 Mountains and Sea. Ms. Franken-thaler's paintings have been exhibited throughout the world and are represented in the permanent collections of dozens of major museums. Ms. Frankenthaler has lectured at several universities and schools of art; she taught at Penn's Graduate School of Fine Arts for a brief period in 1965. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Art Association, the New York City Mayor's Award, the Extraordinary Woman of Achievement Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and several honorary degrees. She is a graduate of Bennington College.

Moshe Greenberg, C '49, Gr '54

Moshe Greenberg is the Isaac Becker Professor of Bible at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. One of the world's preeminent scholars of the Bible, Dr. Greenberg's studies on biblical law, religion, prophesy, and prayer are considered seminal works in the field. His commentaries on the Books of Exodus and Ezekiel are widely recognized for integrating traditional biblical analysis with modern historical-critical scholarship. Dr. Greenberg received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 and 1954, respectively. He went on to serve as a faculty member at Penn, holding posts as chair of the Oriental Studies department (now Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) and as the first director of the University's Middle East Center. He assumed his current position at Hebrew University in 1970, and until 1981 also served as an adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Education on the Bible curriculum in Israeli public schools. Dr. Green-berg is the recipient of the Danforth Foundation's E. Harris Harbison Award and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Jewish Research. In 1994 he received the Israel Prize, Israel's highest academic honor. Dr. Greenberg returned to Penn for the Fall 1995 semester as a Moses Dropsie Fellow at the Center for Judaic Studies.

Jon M. Huntsman, W '59

Jon Huntsman is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Huntsman Group, including the Huntsman Chemical Corporation, the nation's largest privately-held chemical company. He served under President Nixon as White House Staff Secretary and Special Assistant to the President. He is a former member of the Republican National Committee and served on the National Advisory Board of Ronald Reagan for President. For his exceptional civic service, Mr. Huntsman has received awards from the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Catholic Church, and was the first American to be awarded Armenia's Medal of Freedom for his efforts in rebuilding that country following a devastating earthquake in 1988. A 1959 graduate of Penn's Wharton School, Mr. Huntsman received an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. He served as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1994 and as co-chair of the record-breaking Campaign for Penn. He is now on the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School, where he established the Huntsman Center for Global Competition and Leadership in 1989.

Arnold J. Levine, Gr '66

Arnold Levine is the Harry C. Weiss Professor in Life Sciences and Chair of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. A renowned molecular biologist, he is recognized in particular for his contributions to the fields of DNA tumor virology and cancer biology. He is considered the leading authority on the p53 tumor suppressor gene, the gene most commonly involved in human cancer, and has made major advances in understanding how this gene contributes to tumor development. These findings have profoundly influenced the understanding of the fundamental causes of cancer and have helped define future directions for the development of cancer therapies. Dr. Levine is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His many honors include the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, the Lila Gruber Award from the American Academy of Dermatology, the first Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Foundation Award, the first Strang Award for outstanding contributions to cancer research and the University of Chicago Cancer Center's Simon M. Shubitz Award. Dr. Levine received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966.

Nabeel Sha'ath, WG '61, Gr '65

Nabeel Sha'ath is the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Palestine, an elected member of the Palestinian Council, and a senior adviser to Yasir Arafat. Dr. Sha'ath has long been acknowledged in the West as a moderate voice in Palestinian affairs and a leading Palestinian proponent of the peace process with Israel; he was one of the PLO's lead negotiators in the talks that led to the recent Israel-PLO peace accords. He received his bachelor's de-gree in business administration from Alexandria University before coming to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the Wharton School in 1961 and 1965, respectively, serving as instructor in finance at Wharton while completing his graduate studies. After graduation he joined the faculty of the American University in Beirut, moving in 1974 to Cairo, where for many years he headed a business consulting firm and was a publisher of children's books. During this period he became increasingly active in Palestinian affairs, often representing the PLO in Washington and at the U.N., and ultimately rising to the position of chairman of the political committee of the Palestinian National Council.

Maurice V. Wilkes

Maurice Wilkes, a pioneer in the development of the modern computer, is Professor Emeritus of Computer Technology at the University of Cambridge and Advisor on Research Strategy at Olivetti Research Limited in Cambridge, England. Inspired by the development of ENIAC as well as a legendary summer lecture series on electronic computing that he attended at Penn's Moore School in 1946, Dr. Wilkes led the construction in 1949 of EDSAC 1, the world's first stored program computer. Among his many groundbreaking publications in the computer field, Dr. Wilkes co-authored the first textbook on computer programming in 1951. His more recent works include Memoirs of a Computer Pioneer (1985) and Computing Perspectives (1995). Dr. Wilkes is a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his achievements, including the Eckert-Mauchly Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology, and the Howard Pender Award from Penn's Moore School.


Volume 42 Number 28
April 16, 1996

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