New York University President John Sexton today bestowed an honorary doctorate on the Hon. Thomas Buergenthal, a judge on the International Court of Justice at NYUs 176th Commencement Exercises in Yankee Stadium. Over 25,000 graduates, faculty, staff, and guests attended the morning ceremony.
The following citation was read in conferring the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, on Thomas Buergenthal:
Thomas Buergenthal-American judge on the International Court of Justice, you illuminate and enlarge the foundation of human rights for all humankind. As a survivor of the hell which was Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, you have devoted your life to developing law, institutions, and understanding among nations and peoples. These serve, and will continue to serve, as powerful obstructions against those who again seek to make genocide banal and ordinary. Miraculously, your experiences in the abyss of inhumanity have burnished your faith in humanitys potential for transcending evil and achieving justice. That faith has brightly illumined the roles you have played as President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as American judge of the International Court of Justice and as member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. A Root-Tilden Scholar and J.D. graduate of our School of Law with LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from Harvard Law School, you have brought honor to the profession that you have helped shape. Eminent scholar, professor, and prolific author, your former colleagues and students of the law schools of George Washington University; American University, where you served as dean; the University of Texas and Emory University revere you.
Thomas Buergenthal-you are a mighty exemplar of magnificent intelligence in support of the highest aspirations of humanity as you lead us to a world in which individual freedom and human dignity are fully protected. By virtue of the authority vested in me by New York University, I am pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.