Honorary Degree Recipients also Include Nobel-Winning Chemist Carolyn Bertozzi, ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland, and Science Education Innovator and UMBC President Emeritus Freeman A. Hrabowski

Sanna Marin, prime minister of Finland. Photo credit: Lauri Heikkinen, Prime Minister's Office, Finland
Sanna Marin, prime minister of Finland. Photo credit: Lauri Heikkinen, Prime Minister's Office, Finland

Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize-Winning Author and Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU, to Receive Presidential Medal; Dennis Walcott, Esteemed Public Servant and President of the Queens Public Library, to Receive the Rudin Award; and Andre J.L. Koo, NYU Trustee and Chair of the Chailease Group, to Receive the Gallatin Medal at Pre-Commencement Events

NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Board of Trustees Chairman William Berkley today announced the names of those to be honored at the University’s 190th All-University Commencement Exercises, which will be held Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Yankee Stadium.

NYU President Hamilton said, “This year’s honorees are an exceptional group of individuals, people at the forefront of their fields whose talents and successes in the arts, in education, in literature, in public service, and in the sciences exemplify the full range of human accomplishment.  They inspire us, and we are proud to recognize their achievements with NYU’s highest distinctions when we gather together to honor this year’s graduates.”

Sanna Marin – the youngest person, at the time of her appointment as Finland’s prime minister, ever to serve as a head of any government; the longest-serving woman prime minister of Finland, leading a parliamentary coalition entirely headed by women and a majority-woman cabinet; a stalwart opponent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; an outspoken advocate for her nation joining the NATO alliance; credited with steady and effective leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic; a member of the vanguard of a new generation of European leadership; and the first member of her family to go to college – will address the graduates and guests on behalf of all the honorary degree recipients. She will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at the ceremony.

This year’s other recipients of honorary doctorates are:

  • Carolyn Bertozzi – Nobel Laureate; MacArthur “genius” award recipient; member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors; and the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University – will receive a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa.
  • Misty Copeland – a prodigy in the field of ballet, the first African American woman to be named a principal dancer in the history of American Ballet Theatre, and a New York Times bestselling author who was named to Time Magazine’s “Time 100” – will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa.
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski – the President Emeritus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, whose stewardship of that institution has been widely lauded; a member of the National Academy of Engineering whose research has focused on science and math education; and a noted, award-winning, innovative educational leader who has been a pacesetter in advancing STEM education to underrepresented minorities – will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa.

The NYU Presidential Medal will be presented to Salman Rushdie – the renowned, Indian-born Booker Prize-winning novelist and Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute – for his literary mastery and his courage in sustaining the principle of the free exchange of ideas in the face of threats and grievous physical attacks.

The Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City will be presented to Dennis Walcott – a social worker, former head of the New York Urban League, former member of the NYC Board of Education, former Deputy Mayor for Education, former New York City Schools Chancellor, and currently president and CEO of the Queens Public Library – for his extraordinary record of public service to New Yorkers.

The Albert Gallatin Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Society will be presented to NYU Trustee and Chailease Group Chair Andre J.L. Koo (STERN ’94) for his visionary leadership and landmark support of the Stern School of Business, enabling countless students to achieve the NYU dream and serving as a catalyst for NYU to excel as a leading global institution.

The Presidential Medal, the Gallatin Medal, and Rudin Award are presented at pre-Commencement events.

In honor of NYU’s Class of 2023 graduates, the Empire State Building will be lit in NYU violet on the eve of commencement, Tuesday, May 16, 2023. For more information, please visit the NYU Commencement site.

An image of Prime Minister Marin is available on Google Drive.

Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities (with more than $1 billion per year in research expenditures) 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 12 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.

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