The News Service
The 236th Commencement
Brown University will confer nine honorary degrees on May 31
Brown University will confer nine honorary degrees during Commencement exercises Monday, May 31, 2004. The recipients are Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil; philanthropist Malcolm G. Chace; Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; Paul Farmer, M.D.; playwright Suzan-Lori Parks; journalist Jane Pauley; Brown University Chancellor Stephen Robert; Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania; and cartoonist Garry Trudeau.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Nine people who have distinguished themselves in the arts, business, journalism, medicine and service to Brown University will receive honorary degrees during the University’s Commencement ceremony Monday, May 31, 2004.
The recipients are Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil and currently a Brown University professor-at-large; businessman and philanthropist Malcolm G. Chace; Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize; medical anthropologist Paul Farmer, M.D.; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks; journalist Jane Pauley; Brown University Chancellor Stephen Robert; Judith Rodin, who is stepping down as president of the University of Pennsylvania; and cartoonist Garry Trudeau.
None of the honorees is the Commencement speaker for graduating seniors. At Brown, that honor goes to two members of the graduating class. Several, however, will present Commencement Forums on Saturday, May 29, and Ebadi will deliver the Baccalaureate address on Sunday, May 30.
Cardoso, former president of Brazil and one of Latin America’s most distinguished social scientists, is an accomplished statesman and a distinguished scholar. He was first elected to national office in 1986 as a senator from the state of São Paulo, and two years later helped establish the Social Democratic Party. He served as Brazil’s foreign minister (1992-93) and economy minister (1993) before his election as president in 1994. As economy minister and president, he oversaw the development and implementation of an economic stabilization program that controlled inflation, and his policy of reducing government involvement in the economy helped attract foreign investment. He concluded his second presidential term on Jan. 1, 2003.
Cardoso was appointed to a five-year term as professor-at-large
at the University last July 1. As a professor-at-large, Cardoso delivers
lectures, participates in various symposia, interacts with students in the
classroom, and works with faculty in development studies, Latin American
studies, Portuguese and Brazilian studies and other departments, institutes and
Chace, a Rhode Island-based business leader, is widely known for his interest in and philanthropy toward the arts and social services in Rhode Island. His service on boards of trustees includes Trinity Repertory Company and Bryant College. He is president and director of The Chace Fund, which supports a variety of organizations in the areas of arts, education, health, human services, religion and the environment.
With his wife, Elizabeth Z. Chace, a member of the Brown class
of 1959, Chace has served the
University in a variety of capacities, including membership on the Corporation
Committee on BioMed Affairs (1999-2004) and the Medical School Board of
Iranian lawyer, educator and activist Ebadi is known for promoting peaceful, democratic solutions to serious problems in society. For her fearless focus on human rights, she received the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ebadi was one of Iran’s first female judges before being forced to resign after the Islamic revolution. As an attorney who specializes in the cases of dissidents, women and children, she has been involved in a number of controversial political cases and has been imprisoned several times. She was the attorney of the families of the writers and intellectuals who fell victim to serial murders in 1999-2000, and she worked successfully to reveal the principals behind the 1999 attack on students at Tehran University.
As a representative of reformed Islam, Ebadi has long argued for
a new interpretation of Islamic law that is in harmony with such rights as
democracy and equality. She is the first Muslim to win the Nobel Peace Prize
since it was first awarded in 1901.
Farmer is a medical anthropologist and infectious disease physician whose clinical responsibilities span three continents. He co-founded Partners in Health, an international health organization, and its research and education arm, the Institute for Health and Social Justice.
Farmer has worked in communicable-disease control in the Americas for more than a decade. He is a renowned authority on tuberculosis treatment and control. With colleagues in the Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Farmer has pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies in resource-poor settings for tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, and drug-resistant typhoid.
He has written extensively about health and human rights, and
about the role of social inequalities in the distribution and outcomes of
readily treatable diseases.
Parks is widely considered to be one of the most important voices in contemporary American theater. In 2002, she became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in playwriting for Topdog/Underdog.
Her sharp ear for language and her ability to creatively mix fantasy, myth and history have drawn critical praise since 1989, when New York Times theater critic Mel Gussow called Parks “the year’s most promising playwright” for her Obie-winning Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom. Since then, she has received a number of prestigious awards and honors: a Whiting Writers’ Award, a W. Alton Jones grant from the Kennedy Center for New American Plays, a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, a second Obie for Venus, a PEN award for being America’s most important “mid-career playwright” and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship in 2001.
In 2003, Parks published her first novel, Getting
Mother’s Body. She also wrote the screenplay for Spike Lee’s
Pauley has been affiliated with NBC News since 1976, when she was selected to succeed Barbara Walters as co-host of “Today,” the network’s morning show. Pauley spent the next 13 years co-hosting, first with Tom Brokaw, and later with Bryant Gumbel. With Gumbel, she was named 1986 Broadcaster of the Year by the International Radio and Television Society and Best in the Business by the Washington Journalism Review in 1990.
In 1990, Pauley moved from “Today” to become deputy anchor to Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News.” In 1991, she launched “Real Life with Jane Pauley,” a magazine-format show in primetime. The series was revamped in 1992 as “Dateline NBC,” with the addition of investigative reporting and Stone Philips as co-host. Pauley added additional anchoring duties between 1996 and 2001 with “Time & Again,” a retrospective news program on MSNBC.
Pauley has received many awards for her work, including multiple
Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, the RTNDA’s prestigious Paul White
Award for her lifetime contribution to electronic journalism, and the Radio and
Television News Directors Foundation’s Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment
Robert has been Brown University’s chancellor since 1998. As the University’s 19th chancellor, he is the senior officer of the Corporation and presides over the Board of Trustees.
A 1962 graduate of Brown, Robert has served the University in numerous capacities. His Corporation work began as a trustee (1984-90 and 1991-94). He was elected to the Board of Fellows in 1994, and in 1997 he was named vice chancellor and chancellor-designate. He has served on numerous committees and was chairman of the Committee on Investment from 1986 to 1997. He also chaired the 2000 presidential selection committee that named Ruth J. Simmons Brown’s 18th president.
Robert, who also attended the Columbia University Business School and the London School of Economics, is chairman of Robert Capital Management, LLC, and former chairman and chief executive officer of Oppenheimer Group Inc. from 1982 through 1997. He is on the President’s Advisory Council at Teachers College, Columbia University; and is a director of the New York Philharmonic and of Thirteen/WNET. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the advisory committee of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and the board of Xerox Corporation. He was a founding member of NAC Reinsurance Corporation and served as a board member from 1985 to 1999.
Rodin has been president of The University of Pennsylvania since 1994, when she became the first woman to be named to the presidency of an Ivy League institution. Since then, she has guided Penn through unprecedented growth and development that has transformed the university’s academic core and dramatically enhanced the quality of life on campus and in the surrounding community.
Rodin holds faculty appointments as a professor of psychology in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences and as a professor of medicine and psychiatry in the School of Medicine. Her work on the relationship between psychological and biological processes in human health and behavior is renowned.
Last June, Rodin announced that she would step down as
president. On July 1, 2004, Amy Gutmann, Princeton University’s provost,
will succeed her.
Since its debut in 1970, Trudeau’s comic strip Doonesbury has satirized contemporary events, personalities and lifestyles – work that earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for editorial cartooning. Doonesbury now appears in nearly 1,400 daily and Sunday newspapers.
The strip has found its way into other media as well. Working with John and Faith Hubley, Trudeau wrote and co-directed an animated film, A Doonesbury Special, for NBC-TV in 1977. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and received the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Collaborating with composer Elizabeth Swados in 1983, Trudeau wrote the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical, Doonesbury, for which he was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards.
Trudeau and Swados teamed up again to create 1984’s off-Broadway satirical revue Rap Master Ronnie about the Reagan administration. In 1988, Trudeau wrote and co-produced, along with director Robert Altman, HBO’s Tanner ’88, a satiric look at that year’s presidential election campaign. The show won several awards in the United States and abroad, including an Emmy, the gold medal for Best Television Series at the Cannes Television Festival and Best Imported Program from the British Broadcasting Press Guild.