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SMC awards Earle, Lowry

Ashley Charnley | Friday, May 14, 2010

Marine biologist Sylvia Earle will deliver Saint Mary’s 2010 Commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree. Author Lois Lowry will also be receiving an honorary doctor of humanities degree at the ceremony.

“It will be an honor to welcome Sylvia Earle and Lois Lowry to our campus,” Carol Ann Mooney, president of the College, said in a press release.

According to the release, Earle has spent over 6,000 hours underwater. The New York Times labeled her “Her Deepness.” She led the first all-women team of aquanauts in 1970 and holds the record for the deepest solo dive.

In September 2009, she published “The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Oceans Are One,” which discusses the need to protect out oceans and the work people need to do to keep them clean.

“Doctor Earle is a passionate advocate for the survival of our planet,” Mooney said in the release. “Her work to save our oceans is legendary and I know our graduates will be inspired by her dedication to this important cause.”

Earle has written more than 175 pieces relating to the global ecosystem, namely the ocean.

She also made an appearance on the Comedy Central program “Colbert Nation” to convey her message on protecting the environment.

According to the press release, Earle has established marine protected areas across the globe. These include a 140,000 square-mile ocean home called the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Monument, which contains more than 7,000 forms of marine life.

Lowry, a young-adult fiction writer, has won Newberry Medals for her books “Number the Stars” and “The Giver.” She is also author of the “Anastasia Krupnik” series.

“The majority of our graduates probably counted Lois Lowry’s books among their favorites when they were growing up,” Mooney said in the release. “We are delighted to be able to recognize her body of work.”

Lowry said in the release that she works through her writing to “convey her passionate awareness that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends upon our caring more, and doing more, for one another.”

Commencement will be held May 15 at noon on Le Mans Green.