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Commencement Speaker: Bono and the
Honorary Degree Recipients

Bono-speaker E. Blackburn L. FriedLander

J. Pelikan M. Roach

 

Bono, lead singer and songwriter for the rock group U2 and a social-justice activist, will speak at Penn's 248th Commencement on May 17.

In addition to the critical and popular success of his recording and touring activities with U2, Bono co-founded the organization Debt Aids Trade Africa (DATA) in 2002 together with activists from the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt campaign. DATA's main objective is to raise public awareness and action in the United States and other wealthy nations against AIDS and poverty in Africa. 

"With his tireless efforts and use of his celebrity to remind us of our moral duties as citizens of the globe, Bono has been a powerful force for change, galvanizing the action of presidents, countries and the general public," said President Judith Rodin.

In 1999 Bono received the MTV Free Your Mind Award for his campaigning work, and in 2002 he received the French Legion d'Honneur. With DATA, he lobbies world leaders and decision makers, as well as generating media and public interest in issues relating to Africa, to create pressure for more money and better policy. DATA is continuously recruiting new activists for its campaigning work.

Bono was born in Dublin in 1960 and joined with the other members of U2 in high school. The band has won seven Grammy awards and sold more than 100 million albums.

Bono will receive an honorary degree from Penn as will four other recipients:

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, a cell and molecular biologist who co-discovered an enzyme that could possibly stabilize cancer cells.

Lee Friedlander, a master photographer known for album cover portraits of jazz musicians (see his self portrait, above).

Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, the premier historical theologian of our time and a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication. He will be the Baccalaureate speaker on May 16 at the University's interfaith ceremony.

Max Roach, a musicologist whose jazz drumming provides the backbeat for be-bop.

***

Click here for more on the honorary degree recipients. For Commencement  information see the website, www.upenn.edu/commencement.

 

 


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 25, March 16, 2004

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