The Colgate Scene
July 2002

Honoris causa

Interim President Jane Pinchin flanked by this year's honorary degree recipients: (from left to right) Charlie Rose, Muham-mad Yunus, John M. Buchanan, Mary Frances Berry, and E. Virgil Conway '51. [Enlarge] [Photo by Tom Brown]

Honorary degree recipient E. Virgil Conway '51, former chairman and chief executive officer of the New York State Metropolitan Transit Authority, with Interim President Jane Pinchin [Photo by John D. Hubbard]

Honored at commencement with honorary doctorates were Mary Frances Berry, chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, John M. Buchanan, editor of The Christian Century, E. Virgil Conway '51, former chairman and chief executive officer of the New York State Metropolitan Transit Authority and Muhammad Yunus, founder and managing director of the Grameen Bank, Bangladesh, as well as commencement speaker Charlie Rose, who in his remarks about storytelling cited his fellow recipients as examples to behold.

Commencement 2002

The culmination of an extraordinary year
The Class of 2002's time at Colgate was "marked by change" that included the turning of one century to another, the transfer of executive power in the nation's capital after an "unprecedented" election and three presidents within four years at Colgate.

The courage to be
John M. Buchanan, pastor of Chicago's historic Fourth Presbyterian Church and editor and publisher of The Christian Century, delivered the sermon at the baccalaureate service prior to this year's commencement.

The web of happy ones
International relations major Arnoldas Pranckevicius '02 is one of only 70 individuals in the world to receive the prestigious Rotary World Peace Scholarship from Rotary International.

Berry, who has, as Rose said, "spent her life fighting oppression," is also the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American social thought at the University of Pennsylvania. She was appointed by President Carter and confirmed by the Senate to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1980. After President Reagan fired her for criticizing his civil rights policies, she sued him and won reinstatement in federal district court. In 1993, President Clinton designated her chairperson of the commission, and she was reappointed in January 1999. She received a doctor of laws.

Buchanan has been pastor since 1985 of the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, among the ten largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and known for an extensive ministry to the community. In 1999, he became editor and publisher of The Christian Century, the Chicago-based interdenominational journal that covers developments in theology and religious life and examines issues of politics and culture. Colgate awarded Buchanan, whom Rose said "reminds us in difficult times of the power of faith," a doctor of divinity degree.

Conway, "a Colgate alumnus who created one of the most efficient transportation systems in the world, here in the State of New York," said Rose, was chairman and chief executive officer of the New York State Metropolitan Transit Authority from 1995 to 2001. In that role, he brought to bear the expertise he gained during 30 years as an executive and financial consultant, including 20 years as chairman and president of Seaman's Bank for Savings. Conway introduced bottom-line principles of management, at the same time expanding service levels and implementing the largest capital plan in MTA history. He was awarded a doctor of laws degree.

Yunus, who received a doctor of humane letters degree, is the managing director and founder of Grameen Bank. "He has loaned money to nearly two-and-a-half-million poor people in Bangladesh, many of them women," said Rose, "and most of them without collateral." Yunus's original concept of providing credit without collateral for the poorest of the poor is being replicated in developing countries around the world.

Rose, who received a doctor of letters, has been praised as one of America's premier interviewers. He is the host of Charlie Rose, a nightly PBS television program that engages America's best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists and other newsmakers. He is also a correspondent for 60 Minutes II, the CBS news magazine program, where he is known for his major profiles on politicians, businessmen and Hollywood stars, and for stories on cutting-edge subjects like Lou Gehrig's disease, suicide and gene therapy.

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