Commencement 2009, University News

Activists, scientists and the Queen of Soul: Honorary Degree Recipients

By
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mary Elmendorf
Anthropologist and peace activist
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Mary Elmendorf, a peace activist and an anthropologist, is well known for her studies of Mayan women in Mexico.
She has launched projects that help improve the daily quality of life in emerging countries.
Elmendorf completed a Ph.D. in anthropology at the Union Graduate School in Antioch — now Union Institute and University — becoming the first staff anthropologist at the World Bank in 1975. She has also worked with agencies including the United States Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization.


Jerry Fishman P’99

Engineer and businessman
Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

Jerry Fishman began his career focused on product marketing, and held other management positions before being elected president and chief executive officer of Analog Devices.
Fishman serves on several boards and has supported teaching and research projects in engineering at Brown. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from City College of New York, a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University, an M.B.A. from Boston University, and a law degree from Suffolk Law School.

Jessie Gruman
Author and health advocate
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Jessie Gruman has devoted her professional life as an author and health advocate to helping Americans make healthier and more informed choices about health care. She is founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health, a D.C.-based nonprofit policy institute focused on improving quality of life for all.
Gruman lectures at George Washington University, and serves as a member on several boards of trustees. She is the author of two books that have received a number of academic honors, “Behavior Matters” and “AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You — or Someone You Love — A Devastating Diagnosis.”


David Saltzman ’84

Public service advocate and humanitarian
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

David Saltzman started his career as a public service advocate and humanitarian working with homeless families in New York, and ran two AIDS education programs for the Department of Health.
He is a founding board member of the Robin Hood Foundation and has served as executive director of the nonprofit, which has raised more than $1 billion to fight poverty in New York City. Saltzman was honored with Columbia University’s Global Leadership Award, Brown’s John Hope award for distinguished alumni and was also named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Innovators.

Jim Young Kim ’82

Newly elected president of Dartmouth and global health advocate
Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.S.)

Jim Yong Kim ’82 was recently named president of Dartmouth College, becoming the first Asian-American in that position in the Ivy League.  Trained as a physician, he has worked for two decades to ameliorate health conditions in the developing world. 
He was the director from 2004 to 2006 of the HIV/AIDS department of the World Health Organization.  In 2003, he received a MacArthur  Foundation “genius” grant.  He has also co-founded a non-profit medical organization that serves the poor in developing countries such as Haiti and Rwanda.


Aretha Franklin

Recording artist and musician
Doctor of Music (D.Mus.)

Aretha Franklin is known as “The Queen of Soul.” She has won 18 Grammy awards and has had several singles on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.  In addition, she has won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Living Legend Award.
Franklin sang at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January. Rolling Stone magazine has named her first on its list of “The Greatest Singers of All Time.” 
Franklin plans to launch her own record label, “Aretha Records.”

Fareed Zakaria
Author and columnist
Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Journalist Fareed Zakaria will deliver the baccalaureate address on Saturday in the Meeting House of the First Baptist Church in America.  Zakaria is an author, columnist and editor of Newsweek International.  He has published two books, “The Future of Freedom” and “The Post-American World,” which is about the rise of the rest of the world.
Graduates will hear Zakaria speak in the church, and the address will be simulcast to the College Green for others who are interested.
His talk is titled “Living a Global Life.”


Richard Barker ’57 P’03 P’05

Trustee emeritus and financier
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Richard Barker ‘57 P’03 P’05 is the former vice chairman of the Capital Group, a mutual fund company.  While at the Capital Group, he worked in global institutional portfolio management.  A former Corporation trustee, he has also served on the Watson Institute’s Board of Overseers.  He currently leads Brown’s campaign for financial aid, a component of the larger capital campaign.

Photos courtesy of Brown.edu

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