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The University Medal for Excellence
Doctor of Letters
Doctor of Laws
Doctor of Music
Doctor of Science
HELENE D. GAYLE, for the University Medal for Excellence
Internationally acclaimed daughter of Barnard, global warrior against a relentless plague, you bring critical diplomatic and scientific acumen to the battlefields of public health. Renowned for your attainments in epidemiology, you have become a powerful force in preventing disease through unyielding efforts to connect social and economic conditions to the health of populations. Through your work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you have spearheaded the development of AIDS research around the world. With admiration and great appreciation, Columbia proudly confers upon you the University Medal for Excellence.
FRANZ ROSENTHAL, for the Degree of Doctor of Letters
Inspiring teacher and author, preeminent scholar of Islamic intellectual and social history, your astonishing erudition and penetrating vision have illuminated the study of Islamic civilization for more than half a century. In a time of enormous need for greater cultural knowledge, you have inspired generations of students to assume leadership in Islamic and Semitic studies. Your participation in the Tabari Translation Project at Columbia has assured success for this monumental undertaking. For your extraordinary contributions, Columbia is very pleased to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.
MARK O. HATFIELD, for the Degree of Doctor of Laws
In a time of historic breakthroughs in medical research, you have championed the millions whose lives will ultimately be saved by new knowledge. Enlightened, farsighted, exceptionally well informed, you have exercised courageous leadership in the United States Senate on behalf of health care, education, and social services. Respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, you have established an unsurpassed standard of legislative integrity. Columbia is proud to honor your resolute commitment to genuine public service with this richly deserved degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
ANDREI KOZYREV, for the Degree of Doctor of Laws
Statesman, reformer, patriot, voice of reason and stability, you have been a shining beacon guiding a great power through turbulent seas. Recognizing the promise of democracy, you joined the forces of change before the break-up of the Soviet Union. As the first Foreign Minister of the new Russian Federation, you infused Russian diplomacy with principles of global cooperation, democratization, economic transformation, human rights, and the rule of law. For your humane vision and rare courage in the face of opposition, Columbia takes great pride in awarding you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
SADAKO OGATA, for the Degree of Doctor of Laws
Academic leader, scholar, teacher, diplomat, humanitarian, citizen of the world aiding victims of disaster and violence, from Sophia University in Tokyo you were called to the United Nations, elected Chair of the UN Children's Fund, and named Representative of Japan on the UN Commission on Human Rights. The General Assembly chose you for one of the world's most difficult posts - UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to whom twenty-seven million dispossessed look for aid and comfort. For the compassionate realism you bring to your work on their behalf, Columbia gratefully salutes you with this degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
WYNTON MARSALIS, for the Degree of Doctor of Music
Brilliant son of New Orleans, rhythmic poet of the New York streets, chronicler of slavery and the evolution of jazz, you bring the complexity of Bach, the drama of Beethoven, and the powerful legacy of your own father to music that challenges, uplifts, and, above all, swings. Gifted composer, intellectual of jazz, teacher of the young, the first musician to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical recordings, your trumpet illuminates Handel or Handy, Morton, Monk, or Marsalis. Columbia happily celebrates your work, your extraordinary dedication, the inspiration and joy you bring to the world, with this degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa.
IRWIN D. MANDEL, for the Degree of Doctor of Science
Your dream of shifting the focus of dentistry from repair to prevention began nearly four decades ago when you left a secure practice for the more challenging life of scientist and educator. As you developed new approaches to prevention, you shared your findings through more than 200 scientific publications, and you created the Columbia Clinical Research Center in Dentistry, an enduring tribute to your remarkable contributions as teacher, researcher, and author. You have led the field of dentistry into the twenty-first century. Columbia is honored to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
EDWARD WITTEN, for the Degree of Doctor of Science
Pathbreaking physicist, elegant mathematician, your research into the fundamental laws of nature has powerfully influenced theoretical physics, pure mathematics, and the relationship between the two. Your work on string theory has advanced in physics a new conception of space and time, and of the most basic objects, leading you to strikingly original results in mathematics. Your work has inspired a revolution on a scale rarely seen in mathematics. These are extraordinary attainments of vision and intellect, for which Columbia deems it a high privilege to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.