Honorary Degree Recipients also include archivist Abdel Kader Haidara, Librarian of Congress Carla Diane Hayden, acting director of the National Cancer Institute Douglas R. Lowy, and playwright Terrence McNally
NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Board of Trustees Chairman William Berkley today announced the names of those to be honored at the University’s 187th Commencement Exercises, which will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in Yankee Stadium.
“Each year for Commencement, we recognize men and women from across the span of human achievement with the University’s highest distinction – an honorary degree. We are especially proud of this year’s group. They are each at the forefront of their fields, and they embody NYU’s core values – the generation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge, and its use in service of humanity,” said NYU President Andrew Hamilton. “A woman whose poetry was chosen to set the tone for a new Presidential administration; a physician leading the battle against cancer; an award-winning playwright whose work has been among Broadway’s most indelible; a woman leading the preservation of the United States' cultural heritage; and a savior of his country’s patrimony. The powerful achievements of each of our honorary degree designees inspire us all to reach ever higher degrees of wisdom, empathy, and understanding.”
Elizabeth Alexander—poet, educator, cultural advocate, and president of the nation’s largest funder in arts and culture, and humanities in higher education, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—will address the graduates and guests on behalf of all the degree recipients. Alexander will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, at the ceremony.
This year’s other recipients of honorary doctorates are:
Abdel Kader Haidara—Malian researcher, manuscripts prospector, director of the private library Mamma Haidara of Timbuktu, and executive chairman of the SAVAMA-DCI NGO responsible for rescuing 400,000 historic manuscripts from destruction by jihadists—will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa.
Carla Diane Hayden—the first woman and the first African American to serve as Librarian of Congress—will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa.
Douglas R. Lowy (MED ’68)—acting director of the National Cancer Institute whose research led to the development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine—will receive a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa.
Terrence McNally—four-time Tony Award-winning playwright, member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and author of numerous Broadway plays including Love! Valour! Compassion! and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune—will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa.
In honor of the graduates, the Empire State Building will be lit in NYU violet on the eve of commencement, Tuesday, May 21. For more information, please visit the NYU Commencement page.
Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities and is a member of the selective Association of American Universities. NYU has degree-granting university campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai; has eleven other global academic sites, including London, Paris, Florence, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Accra; and both sends more students to study abroad and educates more international students than any other U.S. college or university. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU is a leader in conducting research and providing education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, and professional studies, among other areas.