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ND selects six individuals to honor with degrees

By Ann Marie Jakubowski | Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 

Commencement speaker Cardinal Timothy Dolan will receive one of six honorary degrees awarded at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony May 19, according to a University press release.

Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, the release stated.

Gu Binglin, president of Tshingua University in Beijing, will receive a doctor of science at the ceremony, according to the release. Binglin has led the field of condensed matter physics and computational materials science. He has taught physics and researched at Tshingua, after stints in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as dean of Tshingua’s Graduate School, and as vice president of Tshingua.

Sister Antona Ebo will receive a doctor of laws at the ceremony, according to the release. Ebo has worked as an activist for human rights, marching with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Ala., and Montgomery, Ala. Ebo was also the first black woman religious to lead a hospital. She later served as president of the National Black Sisters’ Conference.

Marilynne Robinson will receive a doctor of human letters for her work as an author, the release stated. She won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for her novel “Gilead,” among other prestigious awards.  Her novels, books, essays and articles have earned her a reputation for “rigorous reasoning and a salient moral vision, often drawing from biblical narrative,” the release stated.

Morton Schapiro will receive a doctor of laws for his work as an expert on the economics of higher education and college finances and affordability, according to the release. Schapiro is currently serving as the 16th president of Northwestern University. He began his career as a faculty member at Williams College in Massachusetts in 1980 and left in 1991 for the University of Southern California, where he taught and served in administrative posts, the release stated. 

Kenneth Stinson, a 1964 Notre Dame graduate, parent and member of the board of trustees, will receive a doctor of laws, according to the release. Stinson is chairman emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons Inc., a large construction firm, the release stated. He earned his graduate degree from Stanford University before serving three years in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps.

University Spokesman Dennis Brown said all are welcome to submit nominations for honorary degree recipients to the President’s Office.

“We select individuals for honorary degrees who have made significant contributions to society,” Brown said. “They are not selected on the basis of celebrity; some are more well-known than others, but all of them are extraordinarily accomplished in their fields.”

Brown said people are selected from various fields, from law, the arts, entertainment, education, the Church, politics, business, media and other areas. University President Fr. John Jenkins makes the final decisions after consulting with Board members and senior leaders of the University, he said.

Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski
at ajakubo1@nd.edu