Honorary Degrees, Medal Awarded to 7 Achievers

Photograph: Before Commencement, honorary degree candidates gathered in Butler Library for an official portrait. Seated, from left, Louis Henkin, Madeleine K. Albright, President Rupp, Trustees Chairman Henry L. King, Salome Gluecksohn Waelsch; standing, William Julius Wilson, Robert B. W. MacNeil and Teddy Kollek. Photo Credit: Joe Piniero.
Photograph: Elkies.

The texts of citations read at Commencement by President Rupp follow:

NOAM DAVID ELKIES

For the University Medal for Excellence

Son of Columbia, valedictorian of the College Class of 1985, summa cum laude in Mathematics and Music, composer, pianist, and singer, Gold Medal winner at International Math Olympiads, three-time Putnam prize-winner, Presidential Young Investigator and Packard Foundation Fellow, you have made spectacular contributions to number theory, earning appointment as the youngest tenured professor in the history of Harvard University. The elegant simplicity and clarity of your work has reminded colleagues of classical Greek mathematics. Columbia's pride in you and your achievements is manifest in the University Medal for Excellence.

MADELEINE KORBEL ALBRIGHT

For the Degree of Doctor of Laws

Gifted diplomat, humanitarian, and communicator, you have been tough and decisive in times of peril. Twice torn from your native land of Czechoslovakia, first as a refugee in the bomb shelters of London, then seeking political asylum from Communist tyranny, you have lived the American dream, becoming our Permanent Representative to the United Nations. We also take pride in you as scholar, author, and parent, raising your three daughters while earning your masters and Ph.D. at Columbia. Your alma mater is delighted to award you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

TEDDY KOLLEK

For the Degree of Doctor of Laws

Longtime mayor of a polyglot city riven by ancient feuds, farsighted founder of the Jerusalem Foundation, your name is a glorious synonym for reconciliation. With education, health care, architecture and the arts, and your own infectious enthusiasm and good humor, you have coaxed those who would deny each other's existence into living side by side. You are a romantic of realism, a voice of reason working to make the holy city of Jerusalem a community of beauty, justice, and peace. For your visionary efforts to conciliate Jews and Arabs, and to strengthen the city as the cultural magnet and crossroads of humanity, Columbia is honored to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

LOUIS HENKIN

For the Degree of Doctor of Laws

We hail you as America's leading scholar of international law, as a brilliant teacher, as the creator of the interdisciplinary subject of Human Rights. Since your early days with Hand and Frankfurter, you have enlivened classrooms, authored prophetic books, co-directed our Center for the Study of Human Rights, and attained our highest rank, University Professor. In urging America to be faithful to its founding truths, you are an exemplar of fidelity to the values of this University. For your excellence in teaching, scholarship, advocacy, and public service, Columbia gratefully bestows upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

ROBERT B.W. MACNEIL

For the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters

Pioneer of thorough and thoughtful broadcast news, novelist, historian, critic, student and celebrant of the English language, you have enlightened the medium and the nation, combining intellectual rigor with courtesy and moral sense, generosity toward the opinions of others with exacting standards of accuracy in the pursuit of truth. In you America has come to recognize journalism at its best, as the civilized expression of experience, as well as the expression of civilization itself. With deep and respectful joy, Columbia confers upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

SALOME GLUECKSOHN WAELSCH

For the Degree of Doctor of Science

Great geneticist, nurturer of generations of biologists, you left Nazi Germany to begin at Columbia your pioneering studies that demonstrated the importance of genes in directing mammalian development, and thereby the power of genetic analysis. Columbia benefitted from your creativity in an era when the contributions of women were undervalued. You then joined the new Albert Einstein College of Medicine and developed one of the first genetics courses at an American medical school. In the 1990s you have continued your daily laboratory research and mentoring. Today, offering belated thanks for all that you have given to us and to the world, Columbia takes special pride in awarding you the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON

For the Degree of Doctor of Letters

You have won world renown for your brilliant analyses of the shameful economic and social conditions afflicting the urban black poor of America. Almost single-handedly, you revived research on the causes of poverty and reopened the public debate on how best to help the impoverished of our nation's cities. Your books have made you one of the most widely respected sociologists of your generation. You have earned well deserved honors, from the MacArthur Prize Fellowship to the tribute we pay today, as Columbia with great pleasure bestows upon you the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.


Columbia University Record -- May 26, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 30