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Vol.26, No. 19 Apr. 9, 2001

University to Award 8 Honorary Degrees at Graduation on May 16

Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; George Shultz, former Secretary of State; Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet, and Judith Kaye, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, are among those scheduled to receive honorary degrees at Commencement Exercises marking Columbia’s 247th academic year on Wed., May 16.

Also scheduled to receive honorary degrees are Princeton historian Peter Brown, Columbia biochemist Isidore Edelman, musician and composer Max Roach and Chinese pathophysiologist Zhen-Yi Wang. Neil de Grasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, will receive the University Medal for Excellence, which is given each year to a younger Columbia alumnus who has made significant contributions to society.

In addition to the awarding of honorary degrees, more than 9,200 Columbia students will graduate before tens of thousands of their family and friends during a ceremony that will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Low Library Plaza.

Arthur Levitt, who was chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1993 to 2001, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Prior to becoming SEC chairman, Levitt was chairman of Levitt Media Company, chairman and CEO of the American Stock Exchange and president of Shearson Hayden Stone Inc. (now Shearson Lehman Bros. Inc.).

George Shultz, Secretary of State during the Reagan Administration, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Shultz also served as U.S. Secretary of Labor (1969-70), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1972-74) and president of the Bechtel Group. He is professor emeritus of management and public policy at Stanford, where he is a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institute.

Tim Berners-Lee, director of the Worldwide Web Consortium at MIT, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. A software engineer and inventor of the Worldwide Web, Berners-Lee is a distinguished fellow of the British Computer Society and an honorary member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. His many awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Order of the British Empire and PC Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Technical Excellence.

Judith Kaye, who has been a judge on the New York State Court of Appeals since 1983 and chief judge since 1993, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Her professional memberships include the American College of Trial Lawyers (advisory board member), American Law Institute (advisory council member), Association of the Bar of the City of New York (executive committee member), the New York State and American Bar Associations and the New York State Bar Journal (member board of editors).

Peter Brown, Rollins Professor of History at Princeton, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. The author of a dozen books, Brown is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the Royal History Society.

Isidore Edelman, Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, will be awarded an honorary doctor of science degree. Edelman is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Association of American Physicians and the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Max Roach, musician and composer, will receive an honorary doctor of music degree. Roach, who has his own quintet, played with Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. He has won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the French Order of Arts and Letters, and is a member of the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Zhen-Yi Wang, of Shanghai Second Medical University, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. The author of 240 papers and 20 books and the recipient of numerous awards, Wang is a member of the Chinese Society of Pathophysiology, French Academy of Sciences, International Society of Fibrinolysis and Chinese Society of Engineering.

Neil de Grasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, will receive the University Medal for Excellence. The chair of the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, he is the author of five books and is a columnist for Natural History magazine.