New York University President John Sexton today bestowed an honorary doctorate on Jaroslav Pelikan, renowned professor of history at Yale University, at NYU’s 173rd 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 Jaroslav Pelikan:

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Jr.-world authority on the evolution of Christianity and medieval intellectual history, you have made Yale University your academic home since 1962, where you have inspired generations of students who revere you as a master teacher. Fluent in nine languages, you are editor and translator of primary texts from the biblical, classical, medieval, reformation and modern periods and author of more than 30 books including the five-volume The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, widely acknowledged as the foremost history of its kind. Arguably the greatest of contemporary scholars of religion, you have received the Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Human Sciences and have delivered the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government for outstanding achievement in the humanities. Wise, eloquent, and engaging, you write for both scholars and the general reader and have offered the world an alluring guide to its best seller in your recent title, Whose Bible Is It? And, in 1992, you gave the world your magnificent insights into the ideal of the university in an epic dialogue with John Cardinal Newman.

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Jr.- brilliant exemplar of the central aim of a university to create and transmit knowledge, and astute commentator on what a university is and ought to be, you have deeply shaped our thinking about the vocation we have chosen. By virtue of the authority vested in me, I am pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848