Distributed May 21, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel



The 233rd Commencement

Texts of the honorary degree citations
Brown University will present nine honorary degrees at its 233rd Commencement Monday, May 28, 2001. The degrees will be conferred during the University Convocation, which begins at approximately 11:30 a.m. on The College Green. The text of the honorary degree citations follows here.

Madeleine Korbel Albright
Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Scholar, public servant, trailblazer, diplomat: you served with distinction as our nation's sixty-fourth Secretary of State. In four years you journeyed more than 1 million miles to nearly 100 countries in pursuit of mutual understanding and support among the nations of this world.

Born in Prague, the daughter of a Czech diplomat, you learned at an early age the intricacies of global politics. Your family fled to London as World War II was breaking out, then returned to Czechoslovakia after the war – only to flee again, this time from communism. As a young girl of eleven coming to America, you found and embraced freedom. With the knowledge you gained from your studies at Wellesley and Columbia, you became a public servant par excellence, serving on the National Security Council and as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In 1997 you were named Secretary of State by President Clinton, and you set to work attempting to bring peace to some of the world's most troubled areas. The return of democracy to Yugoslavia last year was a triumph that brought you immense personal satisfaction.

Your favorite poet, Robert Frost, once wrote longingly of the road not taken. The roads you have taken, literally and figuratively – as a woman, a diplomat, a leader, and a citizen of the world – are a testament to the belief that anything is possible for those who aspire to learn, serve, and lead at the highest levels. On every road you traveled, you have demonstrated compassion and resolve, wisdom and understanding, integrity and commitment. We salute your dignity, your grace, your wit, and your strength, and we welcome you as a permanent member of our community.

Viator indefessa, orbis terrarum discipula, magistra duxque peritissima, legatus filia, nondum femina libertatem invenisti etiam amplecta es. Nunc legatus ipsa et libertatis exemplum atque auctor es, quare tuam dignitatem gratiamque vim ingeniumque nos salutamus. Auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Legibus Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi gravi modo dedo.

[Tireless travelor, student of the world, most skilled teacher and leader, daughter of a diplomat, as a girl you discovered and then embraced freedom. Now a diplomat yourself, you are an example and an author of freedom, wherefore we salute your dignity and grace, your strength and wit. By the authority granted to me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Laws, and give to you all the rights and privileges that go with that rank. In witness of this I give to you this diploma with every seriousness.]

May 28, 2001

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Kofi A. Annan
Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Patron of peace, guardian of humanity, champion of justice, you are without peer on the world stage. Trained as a multilingual scholar of economics and management, you have made diplomacy your career and the citizens of this planet your passion. Your commitment to improving the human condition has been unyielding.

From your birth in Kumasi, Ghana, to your appointment as the first black African to serve as Secretary General of the United Nations, you have approached each new responsibility with energy and dignity. You brought to your current post the experience and knowledge gained from three decades in the United Nations, where your responsibilities ranged from the most delicate of negotiations in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia to the implementation of a management structure equipped to deal with a rapidly changing world. Among your many storied accomplishments, you dramatically strengthened the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations by improving response time, fostering international cooperation and shared responsibility, and creating an assessment unit responsible for “Lessons Learned.” As Secretary General, you have worked tirelessly to improve the UN’s coherence and coordination. You have focused international attention on the needs of Africa’s most disadvantaged regions, and you have championed the status of women both in the UN Secretariat and around the world.

When you became Secretary General, you said, “It’s the most impossible job in the world ... but someone has to do it.” The people of the world are grateful that Kofi Annan is there to do the job. Brown University joins the chorus of your admirers in saluting your accomplishments, praying for your continued success, and welcoming you to the company of alumni of this international institution.

Pacis patronus, humanitatis custos, justitiae victor, in orbe unicus vir. Vir eruditus economicus, nunc legatus populos orbis terrarum invigilans. Africa te genuit, mundus te honorat, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Legibus Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi gravi modo dedo.

[Patron of peace, guardian of humanity, champion of justice, you are without peer in the world. A scholar of economics, you are now a diplomat watching over the people of the world. Africa bore you to the world, and now the world honors you, wherefore by the authority granted to me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Laws, and give to you all the rights and privileges that go with that rank. In witness of this I give to you this diploma with every seriousness.]

May 28, 2001

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Sheila E. Blumstein
Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

Esteemed citizen of Brown, honored member of the academy, respected scholar and colleague, beloved friend: you have, time and again, answered the call to service from this great University. In so doing, you have contributed beyond measure to its greatness.

Your arrival on College Hill as an assistant professor came one year after the adoption of the New Curriculum. No one could have foretold the role you would play in the evolution of that curriculum and your tremendous influence over Brown’s development as an internationally renowned university. Academic advising, undergraduate research, ethnic studies, teaching excellence, foreign language study, opportunities for women in science and engineering – these are only a few of the causes you have successfully championed. Thanks to your dedication, your spirit, and your well-known tenacity, Brown today is a much stronger institution than it was when you joined the faculty in 1970.

The titles you have held speak volumes to the breadth of your devotion to Brown: Albert D. Mead Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, department chair, dean of the College, provost, and president. Few – if any – in our history have served so often, so unselfishly, and so well.

Your legacy, however, extends far beyond the number of offices you have occupied in University Hall and Metcalf Research Laboratory. You have always led by example, showing us the meaning of grace under pressure, of compassion, of integrity, and of honor. You are genuine – an original – and ever true to your values and your principles. Above all, you have lived a professional and personal life of usefulness and reputation. We are grateful beyond words that you have done so at Brown University.

Clarissima civis Brunoniensis, sodalis academiae, scholar ingeniosa, collega, amica carissima, nos bene servivisti et servavisti. Ob vim, spiritum, tenacitatem tuam, Universitas Brunoniensis nunc robustus est. Magistra, Albertus Meadensis Professor, sedes, decanus collegii, provostus, prasidens – pauci in historia nostra – nemo apud nos – tam saepe tam suae utilitatis immemor tam bene serviverunt, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Scientia Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi modi gravi dedo.

[Most esteemed citizen of Brown, honored member of the academy, talented scholar, colleague, beloved friend, you have well served – and preserved – us. Owing to your strength, spirit and tenacity, Brown is now more than strong. Teacher, Albert D. Mead Professor, chair, dean of the college, provost, president – few in our history – and no one among us – has served so often, so unselfishly, and so well, wherefore by the authority vested in me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Science, and grant to you all the rights and privileges pertaining to this rank. In witness whereof I give you this diploma with every seriousness.]

May 28, 2001

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Demetrios Christodoulou
Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

Master mathematician, preeminent physicist, you have boldly gone where no one has gone before. You have seen the universe in new and previously inexplicable ways. Called “the single most profound contemporary thinker about Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” you have stretched the boundaries of intellectual exploration. Your contributions to your chosen disciplines are unmatched and have earned you several of the most distinguished honors presented by the academy.

From the moment you received your doctorate at the age of nineteen to the present day, you have demonstrated the power of creative thinking and precise mathematical proofs, combined with physical and geometrical insight. Two of your best known discoveries created knowledge and solved problems that had vexed scientists for decades. The Christodoulou Memory Effect is a subtle consequence of Einstein’s theory of relativity that had evaded discovery until you brought your skills of mathematical analysis to bear on the problem. You also were the first to observe that, theoretically, matter and energy can collapse at a point of infinite density outside of a black hole. This phenomenon, called the naked singularity, was previously believed by the greatest minds in physics to be impossible to prove.

We salute you as a scholar who has pursued the intellectual enterprise with vigor and grace, and who has transformed our understanding of the fundamental structure of the universe.

Mathematicae peritissimus, in scientia naturae rerum egregiissimus, mundum in modis novis vidisti. Vir doctissimus magno cum vigore scientiam secutus es et multa quondam peracta nova fecisti, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Scientia Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi modo gravi dedo.

[Master mathematician, preeminent physicist, you have seen the universe in new ways. A scholar, you have followed knowledge with great vigor and have made us see many things we thought were settled in new ways, wherefore by the authority granted to me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Science and give to you all the right and privileges pertaining to this rank. In witness thereof I give to you this diploma with every respect.]

May 28, 2001

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Paul Jefferson (Oskar) Eustis
Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)

Angel of American theater, the world is your stage. As artistic director of the internationally renowned Trinity Repertory Company, you produce an irresistible blend of theatrical innovation and tradition that routinely sells out the house. Before coming to Rhode Island, you received numerous honors and national fame as the resident director of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and a member of the Eureka Theater Company in San Francisco.

Playwrights, directors, actors, students, and fans have followed your vision, your daring, and your commitment to nurturing the work of others. For commissioning Tony Kushner’s epic play Angels in America, perhaps the most celebrated and moving drama of the late twentieth century, you leave generations of theater-goers in your debt. More recently, at Trinity Rep you have brought new life and energy to one of the nation’s finest resident theaters. You have contributed your ideas and leadership to the cultural and artistic life of Providence and to our theater program here at Brown.

Brown University is proud to add a resounding “Bravo!” in recognition of your achievements, and to welcome you warmly to the distinguished ranks of its alumni.

Angelus dramae Americanae, scaena tua orbis terrarum est. Novitatem traditionemque miscens, tua visio, vis, audacia opera aliorum aluit et voluptatem nobis dedit, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Artibus Elegantibus Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi solemniter trado.

[Angel of the American theatre, the world is your stage. Blending innovation and tradition, your vision, strength and daring have nurtured the work of others and have given much pleasure to us, wherefore by the authority granted to me I admit you to the degree of doctor of fine arts, and grant to you all the rights and privileges that pertain therein. In testimony of which I cofer this diploma to you with every respect.]

May 28, 2001

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Margaret H. Marshall
Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

In a nation wracked with violence and oppression, you were inspired at a young age by the words of Robert Kennedy to stand up for an ideal, to improve the lot of others, and to act against injustice. While many heard those words, you chose to live by them. Three decades later, apartheid has been eradicated from your home country of South Africa, and you are the first woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. If Robert Kennedy were alive today, it is he who would be inspired by you and all that you have accomplished.

The positions you have held demonstrate the breadth of your experience and the strength of your leadership – president of the National Union of South African Students, vice president and general counsel of Harvard University, and Chief Justice. In these capacities, and throughout your career, you have demonstrated an unwavering devotion and commitment to civil rights, equality, and fairness. Your strongly held beliefs and your faith in the power of human beings to overcome prejudice and live by the rule of law are a beacon for us all.

Brown University is privileged to honor your life, your accomplishments, and your contributions. We join your legion of admirers in recognizing you as a true Doctor of Laws.

In re publica molesta viam justitiae secuta es; in Africa meridionali nata es, et nunc judex summa es – et prima femina – de tribunali supremo Massachusettensi. Firmiter iuri civili et constanter aequitati studuisti et igitur omnibus lumen es, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Legibus Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi bona voluntate trado.

[In a country wracked with difficulties you followed the path of justice; born in S. Africa, you are now the first woman chief justice of the supreme judicial court of Massachusetts. You have been firmly and consistently devoted to civil rights and to equality, and you are therefore a beacon to us all, wherefore by the authority vested in me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Laws, and grant to you all the rights and privileges pertaining to this rank. In witness whereof I give you this diploma freely.]

May 28, 2001

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Lorrin Andrews Riggs
Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

Scientist, teacher, visionary of vision: you transformed the way we understand the human eye and the way it communicates with the brain. As a member of the Brown psychology faculty, you invented laboratory equipment and conducted exhaustive experiments to show that tiny movements of the eye are fundamentally important to shaping our perception of the world.

Your peers have described your contributions to science as seminal and momentous. They also express singular admiration for you as a person. Thoughtful, unassuming, and inventive are among the adjectives they use to describe you. It is apparent that you touched the lives and careers of hundreds of men and women who learned, from your example, what it means to be both an internationally famous scientist and an admirable human being.

Teachers are judged by the accomplishments of their students. You served as a generous mentor to a grateful cohort of undergraduates and graduate students, many of whom followed your path to the academy. Today your students are foremost among the scholars in their fields, and they include several members of the National Academy of Sciences. Through them and their students, the life and work of Professor Lorrin Riggs will continue to expand our knowledge of sight and perception. With gratitude for your many contributions to science and to this academic community, Brown University proclaims its pride in all that you have seen and done.

Praceptor, indagator de rerum natura, visui oculoque studes et multa magnaque peregisti. Vir non solum peritissimus sed etiam humanus, mitis, clarus, modestus, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Scientia Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi modo gravi dedo.

[Teacher and scientist, you are an avid student of vision and of the eye and you have accomplished many and great things in your career. A man of the highest skill, you are also humane and gentle, famous yet modest, wherefore by the authority vested in me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Science, and grant to you all the rights and privileges pertaining to this rank. In witness whereof I give you this diploma with every respect.]

May 28, 2001

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Philip Roth
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)

Recently called “the greatest novelist writing in the English language,” you are a writer of rare perception and daring. Your bibliography reads like the itinerary for a tour of the modern American psyche. From Goodbye, Columbus to Portnoy’s Complaint to your most recent novel, The Dying Animal, you have produced a body of work that at once captures and challenges ever-evolving notions of identity. Critics praise your fertile mind, penetrating wit, and masterful style. Through your fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, you have given readers a strikingly honest portrayal of a writer’s life.

Over the span of a prolific career, you have amassed an unparalleled array of accolades. At the age of twenty-six, you won the National Book Award for Goodbye, Columbus. You went on to win a second National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, and, in 1998, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for American Pastoral. This spring, The Human Stain won you a second PEN/Faulker Award for fiction, a distinction achieved by only one other writer. And the American Academy of Arts and Letters gave you its highest honor, a Gold Medal, awarded for fiction only every six years to honor a distinguished career. The Library of Congress has named you a living legend.

No other living American writer has created characters quite as memorable or as alive as yours. No other modern writer has endowed the novel with such philosophical urgency, convincing us that fiction still matters. In your works, you both reveal and revel in the dreams and foibles of humanity. You remind us that while great literature may occupy a rarefied niche, it is never disengaged from life.

For all you have done in the past four decades to challenge, champion and change the American literary landscape, we salute you.

Scriptor summus Americanus, multa scripsisti et bene. Tu qui simus rogavisti et nos omnes mentem tuam fecundam, ingenium, salesque laudamus. Libros philosophicos produxisti quibus magnos libros ex vita non disjungi ostendis, quia auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Litteris Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi optima voluntate do.

[Consummate American writer, you have written much and well. You have asked who we are and all of us praise your fertile mind, innate talent, and wit. You have brought forth philosophical works by which you prove that great literature is not disconnected from life, wherefore by the authority vested in me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Letters, and grant to you all the rights and privileges pertaining to this rank. In witness whereof I give you this diploma with greatest good wishes.]

May 28, 2001

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Lawrence M. Small
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Since you marched out through the Van Wickle Gates in 1963, you have embodied the ideals of the Renaissance man. A fervent scholar of Spanish literature, in which you received highest honors as a Brown undergraduate, and a devoté and skilled practitioner of the flamenco guitar, you embrace and espouse the values of a multicultural planet.

As vice chairman of Citicorp/Citibank and president of Fannie Mae, you have led two of the premier financial institutions in the United States. Now, as the eleventh secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, you are responsible for the world’s preeminent museum and research complex. Since taking the helm last year, you have reaffirmed your commitment to energizing and renewing the Smithsonian’s grand traditions in its 155th year and beyond.

The energy you bring to every task extends to the countless hours you have volunteered to nonprofit and philanthropic pursuits. The United States Holocaust Memorial, Morehouse College, the Kennedy Center, the Joffrey Ballet, and your alma mater are but a few of the organizations that have benefited from your counsel and generosity.

Long ago you reluctantly decided that you were too tall to make your career as a flamenco guitarist. Instead, you went on to stand tall in the fields of banking and home mortgages, while never losing sight of the artistic and humanitarian ideals that inform your work today. For your achievements, your generosity, and your singular perspective on living a good and full life, Brown University is proud to salute you.

Alumnus noster, Hispaniensium litterarum eruditus, peritissimus in arte flamencoensis citharae Hispaniae, mundum variatum affirmas. Vir negotiosus sed etiam valde philanthropicus, nos salutamus valde beneque, quare auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Litteris Humanioribus Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura atque privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia tibi concedo. In huius testimonium hoc diploma tibi laetissime do.

[Our own alumnus, a scholar of Spanish literature, highly skilled in the art of flamenco guitar, you affirm the world in all its diversity. A man of business, you are also a philanthropist in the widest sense of the term, and we salute you widely and well, wherefore by the authority vested in me I admit you to the rank of Doctor of Humane Letters, and grant to you all the rights and privileges pertaining to this rank. In witness whereof I give you this diploma most happily.]

May 28, 2001

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