Commencement speaker Paul Farmer, three others to receive honorary degrees

    Commencement speaker Paul Farmer, the subject of last year's One Book One Northwestern choice, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, will receive an honorary degree at commencement on Friday, June 15, according to a university press release Tuesday.

    Farmer, an internationally known physician and anthropologist, has worked on global health issues on a small scale as a physician in Haiti and Rwanda, among others, and as an instigator of reform in U.S. and global health policies. He also founded Partners in Health, an international health and social justice association, in 1987. He will be awarded a Doctor of Science degree at the commencement ceremony.

    The University will also award three other honorary degrees to Joan Ganz Cooney, the creator of Sesame Street and co-founder of the Children’s Television Workshop, William D. Nix, the Lee Otterson Professor Emeritus of Engineering at Stanford University and Martha Minow, the Dean and Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

    The faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees recommended all four of this year’s recipients, taking into consideration their accomplishments, ingenuity and specific fields of study, after a year-long nomination process.

    “[The] committee does the vetting for all the nominations, which are then approved by the faculty and the board of trustees,” Assistant Provost for Academic Administration Marianna Kepka said. “It’s a pretty rigorous process.”


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