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Commencement 2004

Honorary Degrees

Catherine BertiniCatherine Bertini, U.N. Under Secretary General for Management. Bertini focuses on improving communication and information technology, intensifying efforts to recruit more women to the U.N. staff and revamping the budget process. She headed the U.N. World Food Programme for 10 years, which earned her the 2003 World Food Prize. She has been recognized for her work in getting food aid to desperately hungry people in remote locations.

Steve BurkeSteve Burke, president of Comcast Cable, the country's leading cable and broadband communications provider, and a Colgate University alumnus. Burke heads the country’s largest cable television company with more than 21 million video customers and more than 4.8 million high-speed Internet customers. His work at Comcast has earned numerous industry honors including the 2003 Multichannel News Cable Operator of the Year award and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association 2001 Vanguard award for Cable Operations Management.

John Samuel MbitiJohn Samuel Mbiti, Anglican priest. Born in Kenya, Mbiti taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. He has been visiting professor at many universities in Europe, America, Canada and Australia and has travelled widely in many countries. Professor Mbiti has published over 400 articles, reviews and books on theology, religion, philosophy and literature. Currently he is part-time professor at the University of Bern, and parish minister in Burgdorf, Switzerland.

John McGahernJohn McGahern, author. Widely considered to be the finest Irish writer of fiction at work today, McGahern is the author of a number of novels and short story collections, among them “The Barracks,“ “Amongst Women,” winner of the GPA Book Award and the Irish Times Award, “The Collected Stories,” and his latest, “By the Lake.” Ten times a visiting professor in the Department of English at Colgate, McGahern also has been a visiting professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Society of Authors' Award, the American-Irish Award, and others, and his work has appeared in anthologies and has been translated into many languages.

Michael WolkMichael Wolk, Clinical Professor of Medicine. Wolk graduated from Colgate University and went on to earn his medical degree from Columbia P&S and completed his residency in internal medicine as chief resident at Downstate Medical Center. Cardiology training ensued at both Tufts-New England Medical Center and Cornell-NY Hospital. For five years he was full time at Cornell working in the NIH supported Myocardial Infarction Research Center. Since 1981 he has been a solo practitioner at Weill-Cornell where he currently is a clinical professor of medicine. Wolk chairs the Fund for Medicine within the department of medicine and is the president of the Michael Wolk Heart Foundation, which raised over $3.5 million from patients to provide research prizes and seed money for promising young cardiologists beginning investigative careers. He is president of the 800 member IPA at Weill-Cornell. He is a trustee emeritus of Colgate University and received the annual outstanding alumni award in June 2000. In March 2003, he assumed the office of president-elect of the American College of Cardiology.