New York University President John Sexton today bestowed an honorary doctorate on Wilma “Billy” Stein Tisch, civic leader, at NYU’s 174th Commencement Exercises in Washington Square Park. Some 19,000 graduates, faculty, staff, and guests attended the morning ceremony.
The following citation was read in conferring the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, on Wilma Stein Tisch:
“Wilma Stein Tisch-devoted New Yorker and civic leader, you are a woman of immense warmth and indomitable spirit. The cherished wife of our esteemed late chairman, Laurence A. Tisch, you have graced our lives with your presence and guidance over many memorable years. You and your family have made possible initiatives that are among the most enterprising and dynamic in our history, giving shape to the NYU we see before us today: a vibrant, world-class center of teaching and research thriving in the heart of New York City. The first woman elected president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, you have also exercised major responsibilities as trustee of the United Way of New York City, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the September 11th Fund. A strong and vibrant advocate of public radio, you are chair emerita of WNYC Radio, and you served on the Mayor’s Transition Advisory Council of New York City. You are a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and you count among your many distinctions an honorary degree from your own beloved alma mater-Skidmore College.
“Wilma Stein Tisch-for extraordinary leadership and generosity across an array of civic and philanthropic endeavors, you are admired by your fellow New Yorkers and beloved by your family at NYU. By virtue of the authority vested in me by New York University, I am pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.”