Shah of Iran, Miro, Wirtz, Whitney Young, Brennan and Finley Get Honorary Degrees
Harvard today conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on His Imperial Majesty, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, the Shahanshah of Iran.
The University also honored Joan Miro, Spanish born painter well-known for his role in surrealism in the 1920's.
Harvard gave honorary degrees also to John H. Finley '25, retiring as Master of Eliot House; and two Law School alumni, Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz and Associate Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the United States Supreme Court.
Others receiving degrees at Commencement exercises today were Whitney M. Young Jr., executive director of the National Urban League; Pedro Gerardo Beltran, publisher of La Prensa in Lima, Peru; Livingston T. Merchant, U. S. career diplomat; J. E. Wallace Sterling, retiring president of Stanford University; and two scientists--Nobel laureate Dorothy Crawfoot Hodgkin and geneticist-chemist Marshall W. Nirenberg.
President Pusey cited the Shah of Iran as "A twentieth century ruler who has found in power a constructive instrument to advance social and economic revolution in an ancient land."
The Iranian Students' Association in the United States, however, rejects the Shah's regime as oppressive and militarily imposed, and said yesterday it would picket outside Harvard Yard at 2 p.m. today.
In a recent edition of the Association's Iran Report, the Shah was blamed for squandering Iran's money on military expenses when the country "has a chance to industrialize." One member of the Association said in an interview yesterday that he knows of no student organization in Iran or abroad which favors the Shah's regime.
A member of the Harvard Corporation, R. Keith Kane '22, told the CRIMSON in an interview last month that the Corporation grants the honorary degrees "with the idea in mind of bringing honor to Harvard. Thus we do not choose people who are controversial," Kane said. Kane is a member of the two-man subcommittee of the Corporation in charge of honorary degrees.
Joan Miro, born in Spain in 1893, is one of the most well-known of the Surrealist painters of the '20's and '30's, a group fascinated, along with Andre Breton, in the potentialities of the Freudian dream state. At one end of the Surrealist school was the photographic realist Salvador Dali, and at the other was Miro, who employed for a while an automatistic method--that is, he began to paint without conscious thought and then continued consciously after studying what he had done.
Miro's Harvard citation was: "Painter, sculptor, ceramist; his joyful creations have greatly enlivened the artistic resources of this age."
John H. Finley has been Master of Eliot House for 26 years. His interest in his men of Eliot is legendary, as is his metaphorical approach to thinking and speaking. Finley was one of the principal authors of the landmark report "General Education in a Free Society."
Finley was honored for being "Scholar; House Master extraordinary; for nearly forty years the humanities at Harvard have been enlivened by his bouyant and vital spirit."
W. Willard Wirtz received his A.B. from Beloit College in 1933 and his Harvard Law degree in 1937. During World War II, he served on the War Labor Board, and was chairman of the Wage Stabilization Board in 1946. In 1961, President Kennedy appointed him Undersecretary of Labor and in 1962, when Secretary Arthur Goldberg resigned, Kennedy promoted Wirtz to the Cabinet.
Wirtz's citation read "A devoted public servant; in moderating conflicts of power he steadfastly affirms reason and right."
William J. Brennan Jr. was appointed to the Supreme Court in October, 1956 by President Eisenhower. Born in Newark in 1906, he graduated from Penn in 1928, and Harvard Law in 1931, and became first a labor lawyer and later a judge in New Jersey. At an alumni luncheon at Harvard Law School yesterday, Brennan cited a breakdown in communication between dissenters and the decision-makers in this country.
His citation: "A former specialist in labor law, active in improving the administration of justice, he now exercises his gift for reconciliation in the highest court of the land."
Whitney M. Young Jr. has been executive director of the National Urban League since 1961. He is the author of To Be Equal (1964) and other studies of Negro problems. Considered a moderate on civil rights questions, Young has been warning lately that the return of a mass of Vietnam veterans who are used to violence could cause trouble in America unless something is done fast domestically.
His citation: "A voice of reason in a turbulent time; a determined leader unfailingly bent upon insuring equal opportunity for all our citizens."
Pedro G. Beltran was prime minister and minister of finance of Peru from 1959 to 1961, and is now publisher of La Prensa. He is also former Peruvian ambassador to the United States, and former chairman of the Board of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru.
His citation: "Fearless publisher, informed leader, Peruvian patriot, we salute you as a leading citizen of our hemisphere."
Livingston T. Merchant is now U.S. executive director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A career diplomat, he has served as Assistant and Undersecretary of State and in several posts abroad.
His citation: "In a long career this discerning diplomat has advanced the interests of our country with faithfulness and distinction."
J. E. Wallace Sterling is an historian who is retiring this year after 19 years as president of Stanford University. He was recently president of the Association of American Universities.
His citation: "A major American university has grown notably in stature and influence through his skilled and devoted leadership."
Dorothy Crawfoot Hodgkin won the Nobel Prize in 1964 for her determination of the structure of Vitamin B12. She has also determined the X-ray structure of penicillin. Politically, Mrs. Hodgkin is probably the most left-leaning of the honorary degree recipients.
Her citation reads: "We hail a brilliant and persevering lady whose remarkable achievements in X-ray crystallographic analysis have significantly enlarged the horizons of science."
Marshall W. Nirenberg, a research chemist, is chief of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics of the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Md.
His citation: "In elucidating the chemical nature of the genetic code he has contributed to a major revolution in biology in our time."