Honoris Causa

Five men and four women received honorary degrees. University provost Alan M. Garber introduced the honorands in the following order, and President Lawrence S. Bacow read the citations. Fuller background on each is available here.

Ingrid Daubechies, Duke Professor of mathematics and electrical and computer engineering, Duke University. Doctor of Science. Following in Fourier’s footsteps, a brilliant mathematician enthralled by how things work; her wizardry with wavelets shows that manifold utility is the first derivative of theoretical ingenuity.

Emmanuel Saez
Photograph by Jim Harrison

Emmanuel Saez, Chancellor’s Professor of tax policy and public finance, University of California, Berkeley. Doctor of Laws. An economist extraordinaire whose studies, both theoretical and empirical, elucidate telling trends and animate crucial debate; as a scholar of inequality he has few equals.

William Chester Jordan, Dayton-Stockton professor of history, Princeton University. Doctor of Laws. Esteemed William of Orange and Black, a magisterial figure in medieval history; surveying the ravages of the Great Famine, he has laid out a bountiful feast of erudition.

Dame Marilyn Strathern
Photograph by Jim Harrison

Dame Marilyn Strathern, Wyse professor of social anthropology emerita, University of Cambridge. Doctor of Laws. Intrigued by seeing how people live, inventive in subverting conceptual norms, an empathic ethnographer who crafts new lenses on the varieties and complexities of human experience.

Lonnie G. Bunch III
Photograph by Jim Harrison

Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and secretary-elect of the Smithsonian Institution. Doctor of Laws. Eminent expositor of the African-American experience, fervent in efforts to lift every voice; he attests that for us to look honestly forward we must face the stony road of the past.

Wu Hung, Ph.D. ’87, Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor in art history and East Asian languages and civilizations, University of Chicago. Doctor of Arts. From the caves of Buddhas to the contemporary art scene, from the painted screen to the public square, he expertly illumines the vast sweep of Chinese art and enlarges our vision of visual culture.

David Remnick
Photograph by Jim Harrison

David Remnick, editor, The New Yorker. Doctor of Laws. Prolific in profiling politicians and pugilists, adroit in eliciting his writers’ best, intent and indefatigable in pursuit of truth, a journalist and editor whose work contains multitudes.

Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard president emerita. Doctor of Laws. A luminous leader of this republic of learning, an opener of doors ever true to high ideals, a scholar of the past with a will to seize the future; out of many Harvards she drew one.

Angela Merkel, chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany. Doctor of Laws. Quantum chemist turned stalwart statesperson, resolute in devotion to democratic values; a wall came down and she rose up, leading her nation with strength and savvy and guiding Europe through challenge and change.

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