Schmidt, Friedman, Cousteau, 8 Others Receive Honoraries at Commencement
President Bok today conferred honorary degrees on ten men and one woman, including German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Sir Isaiah Berlin, at the University's 328th Commencement exercises.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the general secretary of the South Africa Council of Churches, Jacques Yves Cousteau, the marine explorer, and Milton Friedman, the Nobel-Prize winning economist, also received degrees.
Harvard honored two judges in this year's ceremony: Richard Amni Cutter '22, an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and a former Harvard Overseer, and Bora Laskin, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The only woman to receive an honorary degree is Barbara McClintock, a geneticist known for her experiments with cell structure. Harvard also honored another scientist, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, an astrophysicist.
Other honoraries include Williard Van Orman Quine, Pierce Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, and Sir Goerg Solti, conductor and musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Since he assumed power in May, 1974, Schmidt has led his country into a position of strength in the Western world through his strong economic policies and leadership role in the European Economic Community.
As the only Western leader who has managed to keep inflation low and productivity very high--West Germany's trade surplus exceeded $20 billion last year--the 60-year-old chancellor has taken a leadership role in both Europe and the world.
Though Schmidt is reported to favor SALT II, consistent with former chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik, or "opening towards the East," he is also concerned over the Soviet arms build-up and favors a strong NATO.
Schmidt is reported to be critical of President Carter for his handling of the U.S. economy and his indecision about the production of the neutron bomb.
Born in Hamburg, West Germany in 1919, Schmidt became a member of the Democratic Socialist Party (SPD) in 1947 and a member of the Budestag in 1953. In 1969, after two years as his party's floor leader in the Budestag, Schmidt became Defense Minister under then-Chancellor Brandt. He later became Finance Minister, and when Brandt resigned, took over as Chancellor.
Schmidt's inscription reads: In gratitude for the legacy of German learning, this University hails the progress of a democratic Germany and warmly welcomes her illustrious leader.
Berlin, a philosopher, diplomat and intellectual historian, received a Doctor of Laws degree today. Although he served as a diplomat during World War II in New York, Washington, and Moscow, Berlin has spent most of his life teaching at Oxford University. He is best known for his brilliant analytic studies of Russian thought, especially of Tolstoi and Alexander Herzen. His works argue the superficiality of both deterministic and relativistic approaches to history. His books include Karl Marx (1939; third edition 1963), Historical Inevitability (1954) and Russian Thought (1978).
A former Chicele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford, Berlin also served as president of Wolfson College there from 1966 to 1975. He came to Harvard as a visiting lecturer in 1949, 1951 and 1953. Born in Latvia in 1909, he was knighted in 1957 as "one of the liveliest and most stimulating minds among contemporary philosophers."
His inscription reads: Wit, eloquence, erudition, sympathy for the ambiguities of living--all these he brings to his brilliant studies in the history of ideas.
Cutter, who graduated from both the College and the Law School, is now president of the American Law Institute. His legal career included 16 years with the Massachusetts Supreme Court, where he served as an associate justice. Cutter has been especially active in Harvard activities, serving as director of the Harvard Alumni Association, secretary of his Law School class of 1929, president of the Law School Association and a member of two Board of Overseers visiting committees.
Cutter's inscription says: Harvard acclaims a loyal son whose law and life exemplify the finest of her tradition.
Friedman is a vocal and prolific economist known for his firm devotion to monetary economic theory at a time when most other economists subscribed to Keynesian theory. Friedman has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1977 and senior research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute since 1977. He writes an economic column for Newsweek. An ardent supporter of free enterprise, Friedman believes that many government welfare and antipoverty programs do more harm than good, and he especially disapproves of manipulating government tax and expenditure rates to stabilize the economy. A firm believer in limiting the role of government, Friedman has called for the abandonment of federal regulatory agencies, the public school system, occupational and professional licensing boards and the Social Security system. His books include Capitalism and Freedom (1962), and he won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1976.
His citation reads: With a tenaciousness founded in learning, this vigorous, good-humored scholar preaches respect for the free market in a collectivist age.
McClintock, who won the 1970 National Medal of Science, is best known for her experiments on the genetics of corn, which appear in many genetics textbooks to explain basic principles in genetic theory. Born in Hartford, Conn., she received her graduate and undergraduate training in botany at Cornell. She has taught at the University of Missouri, served on scientific boards, written numerous articles in biological journals, and now works in Washington's Carnegie Institution.
Her inscription: A scientific pioneer firm-purposed and undaunted; her profound and persuasive studies of the cell have opened avenues to deeper understanding of genetic phenomena.
Laskin, an expert on Canadian legal history and a past professor of law at the University of Toronto, graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and received a Master of Laws degree from Harvard in 1937. Albert Sacks, dean of the Law School, called him "one of the foremost judicial figures in the court of England and the English-speaking parts of the Commonwealth." He was appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court in 1970 and became its chief justice in 1973. He is the author of The British Tradition in Canadian Law (1969).
Laskin's inscription: A distinguished legal scholar now firmly and wisely interpreting constitutional questions from Canada's supreme bench.
Quine is an internationally known philosopher whose pioneering works on mathematical logic helped establish the study of logic and language as central to philosophy. In his works he regards language as a logical system that can be adjusted, and he criticizes the distinction between analytic and synthetic philosophy because it rests on an unacceptably obscure and imprecise notion of meaning. Quine has served on the Harvard faculty since 1936, four years after he received his Ph.D. here. His books include A System of Logistic (1934), Mathematical Logic (1940) and Word and Object (1960). Born in Akron, Ohio, Quine will be 71 later this month.
His inscription reads: Beyond philosophical dispute a great logician who has left a lasting imprint on his field; within our special compass a friendly teacher, a colleague of generous heart.
Tutu has spoken out forcefully and eloquently against the South African government's policy of apartheid. A former Anglican Bishop of Lesotho, and dean of St. Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg, Tutu currently works with the South Africa Council of Churches, a group representing 15 million people of diverse faiths and backgrounds who have urged outside nationals and corporations to provide equal employment opportunities and labor practices for South African blacks. In addition to teaching school and lecturing at different universities, he has worked as a parish priest. From 1972 to 1975, he served as associate director of the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches.
His inscription reads: A churchman of great faith and courage willing to risk his life in behalf of freedom and dignity for all peoples in southern Africa.
Solti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and internationally-acclaimed conductor of both symphonic music and opera, received a Doctor of Music degree today.
Born in Budapest in 1937, Solti has been a dominant figure in the music world since 1961, when he became music director of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. Critics have lauded his recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic--especially the first complete recording of Richard Wagner's "ring" cycle, a 19-record, seven-year project completed in 1965.
Solti studied in Budapest with Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly, and Ernst von Dohnanyi. Originally a pianist, he has since conducted virtually every major orchestra in the West. He became music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1969, and was knighted in 1971, when he left the Royal Opera House.
His inscription reads: To his masterly interpretations he brings intelligent concern for the composer's purpose; for a worldwide audience he quickens the universal appeal of music.
Considered by many as the greatest living mathematical astronomer, Chandrasekhar developed the theory of the dwarf star that explains the final stages of stellar evolution. Born in Lahore, India, in 1910, he became a U.S. citizen in 1953. His other research has included work in the dynamics of stellar systems, theory of stellar atmospheres, radiative transfer, hydrodynamics and hydromagnetic relativity. From 1952 to 1971, he acted as managing editor of Astrophysical Journal. Chandrasekhar received the 1966 National Medal of Science for his contribution to the study of cosmic dynamics. His books include Principles of Stellar Dynamics (1942) and Radioactive Transfer (1950). He is now Hull Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.
Chandrasekhar's inscription reads: A theorist of genius whose writing and teaching have broadly influenced fundamental fields of astrophysics.
Cousteau's documentary films on the sea have introduced the wonders of marine life to people around the world. A marine explorer, international environmentalist, writer and filmmaker, his films have extolled the mysteries of nature's dynamics and warned against the potentially disastrous consequences of human carelessness toward life-sustaining biological systems. He co-invented the aqualung in 1943, and pioneered submarine color photography, shooting the first pictures of the sea's twilight. His films have brought awards from Cannes, Paris, Venice and Hollywood. His works include the series "The Undersea World G. Jacques Cousteau," and books The Silent World (1953), and The Living Sea (1962).
Cousteau's inscription: In untapped depths, he continually unveils fresh scientific marvels. Through print and film, millions share the beauty of his underwater world.
President Bok this morning conferred honorary degrees on:
Sir Isaiah Berlin, philosopher and historian, Doctor of Laws;
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, astrophysicist, Doctor of Science;
Richard Ammi Cutter '22, former associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Doctor of Laws;
Jacques Yves Cousteau, marine explorer and filmmaker, Doctor of Science;
Milton Friedman, Nobel-Prize-winning economist, Doctor of Laws;
Bora Laskin, chief justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, Doctor of Laws;
Barbara McClintock, geneticist, Doctor of Science;
Williard Van Orman Quine, philosopher, Doctor of Laws;
Sir Georg Solti, conductor, Doctor of Music;
Helmut Schmidt, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Doctor of Laws; and
Desmond Mpilo Tutu, General Secretary of the South Africa Council of Churches, Doctor of Laws.