Eight honorary degrees to be given at Commencement
Aretha Franklin, Fareed Zakaria, and Jim Yong Kim ’82 are among the candidates for honorary doctorates that will be bestowed May 24 on the College Green.
A world-renowned singer, a journalist, and an anthropologist are
among the eight individuals who will receive honorary degrees during
Brown University’s 241st Commencement exercises Sunday, May 24.
The recipients are retired businessman and civic leader Richard C. Barker ’57, anthropologist Mary Elmendorf, engineer and businessman Jerry Fishman P’99, musician and recording artist Aretha Franklin, author and health advocate Jessie Gruman, physician and new Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim ’82, public service advocate and humanitarian David Saltzman ’84, and author and columnist Fareed Zakaria.
Some of the honorary degree candidates are expected to speak at
Commencement Forums planned for Saturday, May 24. Additional information on
speakers, times, and places will be available at the Commencement Web site.
Richard Barker, a 1957 graduate of Brown University and former Naval
aviation officer, is a noted captain of industry and civic volunteer.
In 2005, he retired from The Capital Group, where he had served as vice
chairman of Capital Group International Inc. and chairman of both
Capital International Ltd. and Capital Guardian Trust Company. While
there, Barker helped coordinate and manage Capital’s $300-billion
global institutional portfolio management business.
remains involved in finance, serving on the advisory board of two
venture capital funds: Champion Ventures and Pharos Capital Partners.
July 2008, Barker began a three-year term as chairman of the San
Francisco Ballet Board of Trustees. He had served in various capacities
on the board since 2003 and served on the ballet’s Endowment Foundation
Additionally, Barker is a former trustee of the California Film Institute,
Youth Tennis Advantage, the Naval War College Foundation and the
Branson School (past board president). He is also a trustee of the BASIC Fund and the Survivor Corps.
At Brown, Barker serves on the Board of Overseers of the Watson Institute for International Studies, is a University trustee emeritus,
and is the father of two Brown graduates. Today he leads the
University’s campaign for financial aid, an initiative within the
Campaign for Academic Enrichment.
Elmendorf is perhaps known best for her studies of Mayan women in
Mexico and as a consulting anthropologist. She has also been a peace
activist for more than 60 years, working tirelessly to advance peace
and help women in emerging countries.
Elmendorf has focused on
daily quality of life in these societies, directing her energies at
improving drinking water and sanitation and providing information on
human rights and access to birth control. As director of CARE in Mexico
in the 1950s, she helped launch well-drilling projects to bring safe
drinking water to villages.
Elmendorf, who completed her Ph.D. in
anthropology at New College in 1968, was appointed to the Ford
Foundation’s first task force on women in 1972. In 1975, she also
became the first anthropologist hired on staff at the World Bank.
Elmendorf remained with the World Bank as a consulting anthropologist
through 1995. She also worked with agencies including IDRC, IRC, USAid
and WHO, focusing on water sanitation in Latin America and other
Elmendorf participated in United Nations conferences on
women in 1975 in Mexico, Copenhagen in 1980, Nairobi in 1985 and
Beijing in 1995. Active in the 1978 U.N. conference on water in Mar del
Plata and the organization’s conference on the environment in Rio de
Janiero in 1992, Elmendorf has pursued such projects in a variety of
places, including New College, Hampshire College and Brown University.
Fishman, a native of New York City, began his career with Analog
Devices in Norwood, Mass., in 1971, focused on product marketing.
Over the years, he has held various management positions at Analog,
which makes semiconductor devices. He moved up the ranks through 1991,
when he was elected president and chief operating officer. He became
president and chief executive officer in 1996 and serves on the
company’s Board of Directors.
A board member of other publicly
held companies including Cognex Corp. and Xilinx Corp. Fishman is a
member of the advisory board of the Achtmeyer Center at the Tuck School
of Business at Dartmouth College, and is a trustee of the Lahey Clinic.
Brown, Fishman has supported a variety of teaching and research
projects in the Division of Engineering, including the “Studio Lab” and
the Laboratory for Engineering Man/Machine Systems.
earned his Bachelor of Science degree from City College of New York in
1967, a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University in 1970,
an M.B.A. from Boston University in 1972, and a law degree from Suffolk
Law School in 1976.
Aretha Franklin, known the world over as the reigning “Queen of
Soul,” is a legend in the music industry. She is known for such global
hits as “Respect,” “A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,”
“Freeway of Love,” and many other classics from more than 40 albums
produced since 1960.
Franklin recently made news after singing a
stirring version of the anthem “My Country, ’tis of Thee” for the
inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009. In 2005,
Franklin received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest
Franklin has won 18 Grammy Awards during her
career, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy
Living Legend Award. in 2008, Rolling Stone magazine named her the No. 1 Female Vocalist of All Time.
was born in Memphis and raised in Buffalo, but is a long-time resident
of Detroit. She began her musical career at her father’s New Bethel
Baptist Church. While there, early influences included gospel singers
like Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson and the Rev. James Cleveland. Secular
performers including Dinah Washington and Sam Cooke were also early
Today, Franklin continues to record. She released her
most recent album in October 2008, and she is planning to launch her
own record label, which will be called Aretha Records.
Jessie Gruman is devoting her professional life to making Americans
healthier and more empowered to make effective choices about their
health care. She is president of the Center for Advancing Health, a
Washington, D.C.-based independent, nonprofit policy institute she
founded in 1992. The Center for Advancing Health focuses on improving
the quality of life and eliminating health disparities. It has
attracted funding from the Annenberg Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg
Foundation, among others.
Gruman has worked on these issues on a
wide scale in the public and private sector, at various places
including AT&T, the National Institutes of Health, and the American
She also teaches, lecturing at the School of
Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University.
The Center for Medical Technology Policy, the Advisory Panel on
Medicare Education of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
and the Public Health Insitute all count on her expertise as a member
of their respective boards of trustees.
Gruman is the author of two books: Behavior Matters and AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You — or Someone You Love — A Devastating Diagnosis. She has received a number of ascademic honors for her work, and Research!America has honored her for
her leadership of advocacy efforts for health research.
Recently elected as president of Dartmouth College, Jim Yong Kim is
a renowned physician and researcher as well as a trained medical
The 1982 Brown University graduate has 20 years of experience working on
improving overall health in developing countries. At the World Health
Organization (WHO) earlier this decade, Kim spent three years overseeing international treatment, prevention and care programs
for HIV/AIDS, focusing on initiatives for developing countries.
also a founding trustee and the former executive director of
Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization that focuses on poor
communities and supports health programs in Haiti,
Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho and the United States. Kim, who is an
expert in tuberculosis, has also chaired or served on committees on
international TB policy.
After earning his A.B. from Brown, Kim received his M.D. and Ph.D. from
Harvard University. Among his numerous honors, he was awarded a
MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2003. TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006, and US News & World Report named him one of America’s 25 best leaders in 2005.
Harvard, where he has held appointments at both the Harvard School of
Public Health and Harvard Medical School, Kim is leading an initiative
in global health delivery. The project is designed to discover and
share knowledge about how best to launch health programs in poor
David Saltzman has spent much of his career trying to improve people’s lives.
a 1984 Brown graduate, began his public service career working with
homeless families for the Human Resources Administration of the City of
New York. At different times of his professional life he ran two AIDS
education programs for the New York City Department of Health, and
served as special assistant to the president for the city’s Board of
In 1988, he became one of five founding board members
of the Robin Hood Foundation and has served as executive director of
the nonprofit since 1989. Since its founding, the foundation has raised
more than $1 billion to fight poverty in New York City. The group has
also helped attract more than $125 million in donated goods and
services for the organizations it supports. In 2009, the organization
expects to distribute $150 million to help New York city residents
living in poverty.
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks, the Robin Hood Foundation formed a relief fund that
distributed more than $67 million to victims’ families and to help
low-income families affected by the attacks.
Saltzman has been named one of TIME
magazine's 100 Innovators. Columbia University, where Saltzman earned a
master's of public policy and administration, awarded Saltzman its
Global Leadership Award.
Brown has also honored Saltzman with its John Hope award for distinguished alumni.
Fareed Zakaria is an editor and journalist known globally for his
perspectives on international affairs. He has served as editor of Newsweek International since October, 2000 and writes a regular column for the main Newsweek magazine, which also appears in the Washington Post.
Not long after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Zakaria wrote a Newsweek
cover story, “Why They Hate Us,” which drew numerous honors and
attention for its clear, reasoned analysis of the attacks, the
background and the immediate aftermath. The Boston Globe, in revewing the story, said it “ought to be mandatory reading in every home in America.”
Zakaria has also hosted the program Foreign Exchange on PBS, appeared as a roundtable member on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos and acted as an ABC News analyst. For the last year, he has hosted Fareed Zakaria GPS, a weekly foreign affairs program broadcast on CNN Worldwide.
Zakaria is also a former managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a journal of international politics and economics.
Zakaria’s 2008 book The Post American World focuses on the rise of China, India, Brazil and others as emerging powers. It went on to become a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of The Future of Freedom, a book published in 2003 that looks at how democracy has changed every aspect of contemporary life.
serves on the boards of the Trilateral Commission, the International
Institute of Strategic Studies and The Council of Foreign Relations.