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HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS


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The honorary degree recipients, from left, director Arthur Penn, old testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, United States Court of Appeals judge Damon Jerome Keith, actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, President Grabois, Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman, professor of law Laurence H. Tribe

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN/Doctor of Laws

Your rise through New Jersey government and into the national political spotlight has resulted in a generation of self-proclaimed “Christie Whitman Republicans” who would strive to emulate your success and galvanize voter support as you have. You were elected the 50th Governor of New Jersey in 1993, the first woman to hold that position. Since then you have held state spending below the rate of inflation and implemented 12 tax cuts resulting in a 30 percent tax reduction for most New Jersey families — fulfilling a campaign promise one year ahead of schedule. Newsweek called you one of the six most influential Republicans, and your party selected you to rebut the Presidential State of the Union address in 1995, and to serve as honorary co-chair of the Republican National Convention.

WALTER BRUEGGEMANN /Doctor of Letters

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and scholar of the Old Testament, you are one of the most cited theologians of our time. A colleague calls the collected body of your biblical analyses and commentary in books and articles “staggering.” Through your participation in the public television presentation of Bill Moyers' Genesis: A Living Conversation, viewers across the country shared your insights and wisdom.

DAMON JEROME KEITH/Doctor of Laws

Through your legal decisions and civic leadership you set the example of an enlightened citizen moving his community forward. Appointed 20 years ago as Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, you have held numerous leadership positions nationally, in Michigan and in your native Detroit, including chairman of the Citizens Council for Michigan Public Universities. Among your many awards and recognitions is the first Thurgood Marshall Award.

ARTHUR PENN/Doctor of Fine Arts

Your screen version of The Miracle Worker earned you the first of three Academy Award nominations for best director. With Bonnie and Clyde you brought social criticism to the gangster film, and with Little Big Man parodied the western genre in presenting a quite different view of life on the frontier. Building on a film career that has already spanned more than 35 years and 16 titles, you continue to extend the boundaries of one of our favorite forms of expression.

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH/Doctor of Fine Arts

Cinema buffs will know you from roles in such films as The American President, Dave and Philadelphia, and your play Piano won the 1991 Drama-Logue Award for Playwrighting, but most of us know you best through your one-woman shows “On the Road.” In particular, your characterizations in Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities, helped us understand the tensions between African Americans and Hasidic Jews in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn. And Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 gave us a searching look at the unrest that followed the first trial in the Rodney King beating.

LAURENCE H. TRIBE/Doctor of Laws

Ralph S. Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, hailed by The New Republic as “the premier Supreme Court litigator of the decade,” author of the widely acknowledged leading work on American Constitutional Law, you have been recognized for more than 20 years as one of the country's most outstanding law professors. And you have been described by your students as one who “challenges you to think about things in a way you hadn't thought about them before.”