Sketches of the Honorary Degree Recipients
Blackburn | Lee Friedlander | Jaroslav
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the Commencement Speaker
cell and molecular biologist, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
is best known as a world leader in the research of
telomerase, the ribonucleoprotein enzyme she co-discovered
in 1985. An understanding of telomeres--the structures
located at the tips of chromosomes--could hold the
key to perhaps one day stabilizing cancer cells.
love the challenge of deciphering the complexity
of cells," Dr. Blackburn said in the interview
with The Scientist. "When we figure out
something about them, it's a real high." Within
the scientific community, Dr. Blackburn's initial
research into telomeres is considered all the more
challenging--not to mention remarkable --because it
occurred in the late 1970s, years before the development
of advanced DNA cloning and sequencing procedures.
daughter of two physicians, Dr. Blackburn's "passion
for biology" emerged when she was a teenager
growing up in Australia. She received her B.Sc. and
M.Sc. degrees from the University of Melbourne. Dr.
Blackburn earned her Ph.D. in 1975 from the University
of Cambridge in England and conducted postdoctoral
work in molecular and cell biology at Yale University.
12 years with the Department of Molecular Biology
at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Blackburn
in 1990 joined the Departments of Microbiology and
Immunology, and Biochemistry and Biophysics at the
University of California, San Francisco. She chaired
the Department of Microbiology and Immunology there
from 1993-99. Dr. Blackburn was the first woman to
head the UCSF School of Medicine's Department of
Microbiology and Immunology. She is currently a professor
in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Dr. Blackburn also serves as a Non-Resident Fellow
of the Salk Institute.
achievements have earned Dr. Blackburn dozens of
honors, including the Australia Prize (1998), the
National Academy of Science's Molecular Biology Award
(1990), the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor
(2000) and the Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished
Cancer Research (2003).
Blackburn was named the California Scientist of the
Year in 1999 and, until February, 2004, served as
a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.
Dr. Blackburn was elected Foreign Associate of the
National Academy of Sciences in 1993, and was elected
as a Member of the Institute of Medicine in 2000.
She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences (1991), the Royal Society of
London (1992), the American Academy of Microbiology
(1993), and the American Association for the Advancement
of Science (2000).
known by the general public for his album cover portraits
of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and other Atlantic
Records jazz artists of the 1950s, Lee Friedlander
is hailed throughout the photography world as a master
technician whose work challenged and ultimately changed
conventional theories about picture-taking.
Aberdeen, Washington, native's initiation into photography
came at the age of 14. Within five years he
was studying under Edward Kaminsky at the Art Center
of Los Angeles.
completing his assignments for the Atlantic Records
jazz series in the late 1950s, Mr. Friedlander trained
his cameras on the American social and physical landscape.
His stark black-and-white portraits of 1960s and
1970s American street scenes--influenced by the Depression-era
photographer Walker Evans--stand among the most vivid
images of the era.
the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Friedlander embarked
on a different path, immortalizing obscure memorials
at equally esoteric American historic sites
on film. He later embarked on a portrait series depicting
industrial workers and, later--as technology took
he served as a photography instructor at UCLA, the
University of Minnesota and other institutions, Mr.
Friedlander's photographs transcended classroom learning. "(Mr.
Friedlander) has shown how Americans reveal themselves
and their beliefs through their self-made environments," said
the photographer and sculptor Edward Coppola.
Friedlander's work has earned him five National Endowment
for the Arts grants, two John Simon Guggenheim Memorial
Foundation fellowships and, in 1999, the French Chevalier
of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he received
a MacArthur Foundation prize.
of his work have been mounted in galleries and museums
worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in
New York, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and the Seibu
Museum of Art in Tokyo. The Art Institute of Chicago,
the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria
and Albert Museum in London are among the museums
permanently displaying Mr. Friedlander's photography.
Mr. Friedlander has published his work in nearly
a distinguished career spanning more than five decades,
Jaroslav Pelikan has linked the past with present
through a body of work considered the definitive
exploration of Christian tenets. The Sterling Professor
Emeritus at Yale University, Dr. Pelikan's examinations
of Christian tradition--filling more than 40 volumes--have
earned him numerous honors, including recognition
as the first senior distinguished visiting scholar
at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.
His five-volume The Christian Tradition: A History
of the Development of Doctrine places him among
the ranks of the world's top church scholars.
S. Cunningham, the John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology
at the University of Notre Dame, said of Dr. Pelikan's
2003 work, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide
to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian
Tradition: "...Credo proves once
again--if proof were needed--why Jaroslav Pelikan,
passionate, and literate, is the premier historical
theologian of our time."
in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Pelikan received his post-secondary
education at Concordia (Junior) College in Fort Wayne
and Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
began his faculty career at Valparaiso University
in 1946 before moving first to the Concordia Theological
Seminary and then the University of Chicago. Dr.
Pelikan's tenure at Yale University from 1962-96
included five years as dean of the graduate school. Dr.
Pelikan is currently a visiting scholar with the
Annenberg School for Communication at the University
1958-69, Dr. Pelikan was the departmental editor
for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He
also edited the World Treasury of Modern Religious
Thought (1990). He has served as the president
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and
the American Academy of Political and Social Science
and served on the President's Committee on the Arts
and the Humanities from 1994-97. He is the founding
chairman of the Council of Scholars at the Library
Pelikan holds honorary degrees from over 40 institutions,
including Yale University, Harvard University and
the University of Notre Dame and in 1997 the Presidential
Medal, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, was bestowed upon him.
arc of Max Roach's life and career has served as
a major influence on American music and, indeed,
American society. A man for all seasons, as a musicologist
Mr. Roach's scores have provided the backdrop for
numerous dramatic presentations. Praised as the "Duke
Ellington of the drums," he has collaborated
with leading choreographers, including Alvin Ailey
and Bill T. Jones. And he stood at the forefront
of the civil rights movement.
is a powerful weapon that society, or the powers
that be, use to control or direct the way people
think," he once said. "Culture is used
to perpetuate the status quo of society. Even though
I'm involved in music for the sake of entertainment,
I always hope to offer some enlightenment."
Roach's life began 80 years ago in New Land, North
Carolina. His family moved to New York when he was
four; Mr. Roach subsequently attended the Manhattan
School of Music. Upon graduation, in 1942,
Mr. Roach's life changed when he was summoned to
sit in with the Duke Ellington Orchestra during a
performance at New York's Paramount Theatre. He soon
joined with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to
provide the backbeat for a nascent style of jazz
known as be-bop.
Roach later teamed with Miles Davis during the "birth
of cool." The Max Roach-Clifford Brown Quartet
pushed the genre to new levels, dominating jazz during
the 1950s. In the 1970s, Mr. Roach founded the percussion
no other instrument has the influence of one man
been as decisive as Roach's over drums," said
the jazz critic Rafi Zabor. Mr. Roach's influence
extended to the academy, thanks to his tenure as
a professor in the University of Massachusetts Department
of Music and Dance.
holds honorary degrees from the Eastman School of
Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the
University of Maryland, the Manhattan School of Music
and Wesleyan University. In 1989, Mr. Roach was awarded
France's highest cultural honor when he was named
the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. He
was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999
and is the recipient of the Duke Ellington and Harlem
recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant, Mr. Roach
is an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and
Letters and has been recognized with National Endowment
for the Arts Masters Award.