Yvon Chouinard More than 40 years ago, you invented your own game—pioneering business practices that integrated the highest standards of quality with respect for our delicate planet. As owner and founder of Patagonia, you sought out the best ways to build the best products while doing the least harm to the Earth. In 2001, you expanded your vision once more and co-founded One Percent for the Planet … donating one percent of [Patagonia’s] sales to environmental groups. Today, more than 1,000 businesses worldwide have joined the alliance.
George Crumb You are more than a composer. You are an explorer of form, an inventor of sound, and a wellspring of avant-garde music. In 1965, you joined Penn’s faculty as Assistant Professor of Music. Here, you created some of your most critically acclaimed compositions … Diverging from your contemporaries, you created music that juxtaposed diverse styles and sounds from Western, world, religious, and folk music. You played instruments in unique ways, striking wet tam-tams … or pouring marbles into an open piano. Today, entire festivals are devoted to your body of work.
Jennifer Yvonne Mokgoro GrL’90 Under the yoke of apartheid, you pursued an education that would become the bedrock of your contributions to building South Africa’s democracy. In 1994, Nelson Mandela appointed you to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. As the first black female judge of that esteemed body, you worked tirelessly to strike down apartheid legislation while helping to craft South Africa’s new democratic constitution. You also penned numerous groundbreaking opinions, such as the decision to abolish the death penalty in South Africa.
Eric E. Schmidt You understand that knowledge is freedom. In 1983 you joined Sun Microsystems … and led the development of Java, a platform-independent programming technology. As the head of the world’s largest search engine, you have built the infrastructure that has enabled Google to expand at a meteoric pace, while enhancing a vibrant corporate culture admired and imitated the world over. Above all, you have connected people, provided unprecedented access to information, and helped to usher in a new era of innovation and endeavor.
Susan Solomon In 2008, Time magazine hailed you as one of world’s 100 most influential people … [for] your achievements in the field of atmospheric science. You traveled to Antarctica in 1986 and 1987 … [and] in the harsh and unforgiving climate, you took chemical measurements that later would establish chlorofluorocarbons as the cause of the hole in the ozone layer. Your groundbreaking discovery led to legislation banning the use of CFCs. As co-chair of the climate science group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…you developed comprehensive scientific assessments for the public and for policymakers. In 2007, you and your fellow panel members shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Albert Gore Jr.
Muhammad Yunus Through your system of microcredit, the dream of a world in which all people can live with dignity is closer to reality. [When] famine wreaked havoc on your beloved country [of Bangladesh] … you acted boldly and pragmatically, lending $27 to 42 women in a nearby village. Today, more than 7.5 million people borrow from Grameen Bank. In total, the bank has lent more than $7 billion, and boasts a near 100 percent repayment rate. In 2006, you and Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.