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John N. Bahcall's Background

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, John N. Bahcall attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his B.A. in physics in 1956. In 1957, he earned a M.S. from the University of Chicago, followed by a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1961. Following time spent at Indiana University as a research associate, Dr. Bahcall moved to the California Institute of Technology, where he became an associate professor of theoretical physics.

In 1968, Dr. Bahcall became a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. By 1971, he was appointed professor of natural sciences at the Institute. In 1997, the Institute honored Dr. Bahcall by appointing him Richard Black Professor of Natural Sciences, a position he still holds.

From 1973 to 1992, Dr. Bahcall was part of NASA's Hubble Telescope Working Group. He led a team of astronomers that ruled out the possibility that red dwarf stars constitute invisible matter, called dark matter, believed to account for more than ninety percent of the mass of the universe. Additionally, in 1995, NASA's Hubble Telescope helped solve a twenty-year-old cosmic mystery by showing that mysterious clouds of hydrogen in space may actually be vast halos of gas surrounding galaxies. Twenty years ahead of their time, Bahcall and his colleague, Lyman Spitzer, first proposed the possibility of galaxy halos in 1969.

Throughout his career, Dr. Bahcall's achievements have been widely recognized. In addition to receiving the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and the National Medal of Science, he was awarded the 1970 Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society for his research on quasars and solar neutrinos, the 1994 Heineman Prize by the American Astronomical Society and the American Institute of Physics for his work on solar neutrinos, and the 1998 Hans Bethe Prize from the American Physical Society "for his fundamental work on all theoretical aspects of the solar neutrino problem and his important contributions to other areas of astrophysics."

In 1999 Dr. Bahcall received the American Astronomical Society's highest recognition, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, which is awarded on the basis of a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research. The award citation reads: "John N. Bahcall has worked tirelessly to advance the detection of solar neutrinos. His other notable contributions include developing the standard methods used to identify absorption line systems in QSO spectra, and putting together a comprehensive model of our Galaxy." Dr. Bahcall was president of the American Astronomical Society and chair of the National Academy Decade Survey Committee for Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Dr. Bahcall's body of research and written work is tremendous, including seven books, 419 scientific papers, and forty-two popular articles. His work is noted both for its scientific rigor and for his determination to explain its scientific content to non-scientists.

Dr. Bahcall has ties to the University of Pennsylvania, having served as a member of the External Review Committee of the Department of Physics. He has served as an informal consultant to the department, working closely with Professors Ray Davis, Kenneth Lande, Gene Beier, and Paul Langacker.

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Mary Douglas's Background

Born in San Remo, Italy, Mary Douglas received her B.A. from Oxford University in 1943 and her Master's Degree in 1947. She earned a Bachelor of Science in 1948 and completed her D.Phil. in 1951. She has received honorary doctorates from University of Uppsala, University of Notre Dame, Jewish Theological Seminary, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, and University of Warwick.

Mary Douglas' academic career is one of international renown. She lectured in anthropology at University College London, and was a reader at University of London. She was appointed professor of social anthropology at University College London in 1971. From 1977 to 1981, she directed research on culture at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City. She was appointed the Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University in 1981, a position she held until 1985, after which she was appointed visiting professor in the religion and anthropology departments at Princeton University.

During the first fifteen years of her career, Douglas focused almost exclusively on Africa, having been a research fellow at the International African Institute for Fieldwork in the Belgian Congo from 1949 to 1950. In the middle 1960s, her interests turned increasingly to broader theoretical and comparative issues. Her book, Purity and Danger (1966), earned her recognition within the broader social scientific community as a scholar with bold imagination and fresh insight about the structure of culture. It was listed in the London Times as one of the one hundred books that have influenced Western public discourse since the Second World War. Her second book, Natural Symbols (1970), won her international attention and remains one of the single most important contributions to the theoretical analysis of culture.

Her classic, ground-breaking contributions to anthropology, her synthesis of Western philosophical ideas and social scientific theories, and particularly her insights into the way humans classify phenomena such as food and attach symbolic significance to these classifications, has had great impact on anthropology and many other fields such as psychology, religious studies, economics, folklore, and literature. It is a measure of her scholarship and influence that Douglas' work has been inspirational to scholars across the social sciences. She is, without a doubt, one of the leading and most influential anthropologists of the twentieth century. Her work is essential to anyone who is trained in social and culture studies, and it will be read for generations to come.

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Ronald Dworkin's Background

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Ronald Dworkin pursued his education at Harvard University where, in 1953, he received an A.B. degree in philosophy. He received a B.A. in jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1955. Returning to Harvard, he received an L.L.B. in 1957 and he clerked for Judge Learned Hand on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professor Dworkin was associated with Sullivan and Cromwell, a law firm in New York, and was a professor of law at Yale University Law School from 1962 to 1969. He was Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford and a Fellow of University College from 1969 until 1998. He now has a joint appointment at University College London and at New York University, where he is a professor both in the Law School and the Philosophy Department. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Dworkin has published many articles in philosophical and legal journals, as well as articles on legal and political topics in the New York Review of Books.

Stephen Guest, who wrote a book on Ronald Dworkin for the English series Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory (1997), noted that Ronald Dworkin's legal theories have been described as having a complexity, novelty, and moral power that have excited a wide range of academic and political thinkers. Dworkin writes not only about the political and legal thought of the Western democratic legal systems, particularly those of the United States and the United Kingdom, but in recent years has become one of the leading writers on moral and political philosophy. As stated in Guest's book, "In short, Dworkin's theory of law is that the nature of legal argument lies in the best moral interpretation of existing social practices. His theory of justice is that all political judgments ought to rest ultimately upon the injunction that people are equal as human beings, irrespective of the circumstances in which they are born."

The outstanding legal philosopher Marshall Cohen notes, "the jurisprudential writings of Ronald Dworkin constitute the finest contribution yet made by an American writer to the philosophy of law. The fact that Dworkin's views can be considered controversial has improved the quality of debate around these issues. They have elicited a response from writers on legal, moral, and political theory that is outstanding in its seriousness and in its exploratory nature."

Ronald Dworkin is indeed a highly esteemed and brilliant scholar, philosopher, and educator. His writings on the nature of law, on constitutional interpretation, on human rights, on the theory of democratic government, on social justice, and on a host of concrete and contemporary legal and social issues from affirmative action to assisted suicide have transformed the understanding and interpretation of these matters. His remarkable facility to make complex, abstract arguments clear has enabled him to present these pioneering ideas to a wide audience, not just to lawyers and philosophers. He truly is one of the few public thinkers of outstanding quality active in this country.

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Wynton Marsalis's Background

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Wynton Marsalis was studying the trumpet seriously by the age of twelve. While in high school, he performed in marching bands, jazz bands, funk bands, and classical orchestras. At eighteen, he moved to New York City to attend the Julliard School of Music. He was soon recognized as the most impressive trumpeter at the prestigious conservatory. Before he was twenty, he had become a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. It was in this same year, 1980, that he signed with Columbia Records. His self-titled debut, produced by Herbie Hancock, was released in 1982 and was nominated for a Grammy. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammies in one year, and, remarkably, he accomplished this feat again in 1984. Marsalis' music is appreciated throughout the world, and his numerous jazz and classical recordings have sold nearly five million copies worldwide. His jazz group has traveled to thirty countries, spanning six continents, and has averaged more than 120 concerts annually for the past sixteen years.

Despite his tireless dedication to his art, Mr. Marsalis devotes a great deal of energy to education. One of the most successful aspects of the Jazz at Lincoln Center program has been Marsalis' Jazz for Young People series. Wherever he is, Mr. Marsalis takes advantage of his time on the road to meet with students, and he regularly conducts master classes in local schools. He was awarded the 1996 Peabody Award for his TV series Marsalis on Music. This award also recognized his informative, twenty-six part National Public Radio series, Making the Music, which was based on Jazz for Young People. In recognition of the many hours he has contributed to music education, Mr. Marsalis has been given keys to cities across the country, a variety of community service awards, and a Congressional citation.

Mr. Marsalis has a special interest, and has enjoyed great success, in composing for dance. He has composed music for ballets by Peter Martins and Twyla Tharp, and collaborated with Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. His music for dance has been described as "simply superb" by the New York Times. Newsweek stated that Marsalis' music contained "verve and vigor rarely heard at the ballet."

Truly a versatile artist, Wynton Marsalis has lent his hand to writing. His 1994 book Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, an in-depth chronicle of his touring life, is a firsthand portrayal of the travels and camaraderie of a jazz band. Jazz Times praised Marsalis by saying, "He writes warmly and well about his men as a group, and about their musicianship and personalities," adding that the book is replete with "original thought and expression."

The appeal of Wynton Marsalis' work crosses all borders. He has been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque of France and the Edison Award of the Netherlands, and was elected an honorary member of England's Royal Academy of Music. He has been the subject of cover stories in numerous magazines, including Life, Parade, and Esquire (UK). In 1996, Time named him among America's twenty-five most influential people. Wynton Marsalis is, indeed, one of America's cultural and musical treasures.

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Edward G. Rendell's Background

Born in New York City, Edward G. Rendell pursued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in political science in 1965. He continued his studies at Villanova University where he received his J.D. in 1968, and he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar that same year. Upon graduation from law school, Ed Rendell joined the Philadelphia District Attorney's office and was ultimately promoted to Chief of Homicide in 1972. During this time, 1968 to 1974, he served as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves

In 1977, Ed Rendell ran for District Attorney against the incumbent. He won the primary with 69 percent of the vote. Winning the general election at 33, he became the City of Philadelphia's youngest District Attorney in history. He won re-election in 1981 with 75 percent of the vote, the largest percentage in modern Pennsylvania's history.

Choosing not to run for the position of District Attorney for a third term, he pursued the Pennsylvania gubernatorial nomination in 1986, losing a hard-fought primary to Robert P. Casey. After this defeat, Mayor Rendell accepted the chairmanship of Casey's general election campaign, which resulted in Casey's victory.

In 1987, Ed Rendell mounted a campaign for Mayor of Philadelphia against the incumbent Mayor, W. Wilson Goode. Rendell stressed new ideas to deal with the city's burgeoning financial crisis. Although he did not win the 1987 election against Goode, he returned to his financial and economic themes in 1991 and was elected Mayor of Philadelphia with a startling 68 percent of the vote.

Ed Rendell's career as a public servant has been characterized by dedication, wisdom, insight, and a unique ability to both manage and solve multifaceted, challenging municipal issues. Throughout his career, Ed Rendell has remained a positive force for the City of Philadelphia, and his efforts and achievements in the realms of politics, government, and the nonprofit sector are truly inspiring.

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Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 27, April 4, 2000