Nine honorary degrees to be awarded


Former President and Commencement speaker Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn Carter will be two recipients of honorary degrees that will be handed out at Penn's 242nd Commencement on May 18.

The Carters are being honored for their efforts to promote human rights, conflict resolution and public health through the Carter Center as well as their efforts on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, which builds housing for needy families.

Also scheduled to be recognized with honorary degrees:

  • Alan Greenspan, Ph.D., chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Ford administration and chairman of the National Commission on Social Security Reform from 1981 to 1983, who is being recognized both for his distinguished career as an economist and his role as the country's "economic pacemaker" through the Fed's control of monetary policy;
  • Judge Arlin M. Adams (L'47), emeritus University trustee and judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1969 to 1986, who is being honored for his continued service to his profession, the University and public service, most recently as permanent trustee in the Foundation for New Era Philanthropy bankruptcy;
  • Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH and the major contributor to the development of positional cloning, which identifies disease-causing genes by their place in the human genome;
  • Frank Moore Cross, Ph.D., Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages Emeritus at Harvard University and retired director of the Harvard Semitic Museum, who is one of the world's foremost authorities on the paleography, dating and textual criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls;
  • Jessye Norman, famed operatic soprano with over 50 albums, several Grammys, and numerous international honors to her credit;
  • Stanley B. Prusiner (C'64, M'68), professor of neurology and biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, who received the 1997 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of prions, a class of proteins responsible for infectious diseases such as "mad cow" disease and Creuzfeldt-Jakob syndrome;
  • Maurice Sendak, the most honored author-illustrator in the history of children's literature, whose 80-plus books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and artistic director of The Night Kitchen, a national children's theater he co-founded in 1991.

Originally published on April 16, 1998