The University will confer four honorary degrees at the 243rd Commencement, in addition to the honorary Doctor of Laws degree that will be awarded to Commencement speaker Robert E. Rubin.
- Isabella Lugoski Karle, Ph.D., will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree for changing the world of crystallography with her seminal contribution to X-ray crystal structure determinations. Karle is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Billie Jean King, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. King dominated tennis for two decades, winning 20 Wimbledon titles, 13 U.S. Open titles, the French Open, the Australian Open and 20 Virginia Slims singles titles, and was instrumental in turning women's tennis into a major professional sport.
- Gerda Lerner, Ph.D., will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. A founder of the field of women's history and of African-American women's history, she established the country's first graduate program in women's history, at Sarah Lawrence College, and built the premier Ph.D. program in African American women's history at the University of Wisconsin.
- Earl R. Stadtman, Ph.D., will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his pioneer work in the field of enzyme regulation, which led to more recent investigations in the basic biology of aging, including studies of the role of oxygen radicals and the mechanisms of repair in damaged cells. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Originally published on April 15, 1999