Bush, Bloomberg, and Others Awarded Honorary Degrees Thursday Morning

President Bush Sr. Honorary Degree
Former President George H. W. Bush shakes hands with University Provost Alan M. Garber, right, as he receives his honorary degree from Harvard University Thursday.

UPDATED: May 29, 2014, at 1:49 p.m.

Former President George H. W. Bush received one of eight honorary degrees at Harvard’s 363rd Commencement Exercises on Thursday.

“With faith courage, and service true, his eyes ever fixed on points of light, he piloted our nation through changeful skies,” University President Drew G. Faust said as she awarded the 41st president of the United States a Doctor of Laws degree.

Bush was joined as an honorand by acclaimed Chilean author Isabel Allende, famed soul singer Aretha Franklin, Georgetown Law professor and former Harvard Corporation member Patricia A. King, botanist Peter H. Raven, Fine Arts professor emeritus and former director of the Fogg Art Museum of Art Seymour Slive, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Bush arrived around 8:30 am and spent about 15 minutes in Massachusetts Hall before posing for pictures with Faust, Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, and other honorands.

“It feels great,” Bush, who graduated from Yale, told The Crimson about the degree before the Morning Exercises began. “It’s a great honor.”

After the ceremony outside of Mass. Hall, Bush was pushed in a wheelchair through the Old Yard and into Tercentenary Theater, where thousands had gathered for the conferring of degrees.

A Republican, Bush served as president from 1989-1993 after spending eight years as the nation’s vice president. He was born in Milton, Massachusetts and attended Yale College. At 89, he is the oldest living former president.

George H.W. Bush
University President Drew G. Faust and President George H.W. Bush await the taking of a photograph outside of Massachusetts Hall Thursday morning, hours before Bush was to receive an honorary degree.

The last to receive his honorary degree, Bush was praised for his work on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and his role in the end of the Cold War.

Garber, who made pointed jokes about Yale throughout his remarks on Bush, began his speech by referring to Bush’s days as a cheerleader at his alma mater. The end of his speech elicited a standing ovation from the crowd in Tercentenary Theater.

Tags

Recommended Articles

Honorary Degrees
H ARVARD likes its Commencement to be a good show, and for a good show, you need big-name stars. Hence
Harvard Awards 10 Honorary Degrees
Commencement keynote speaker David H. Souter '61 was one of ten recipients of honorary degrees from the University during the morning exercises on Thursday.
Hammonds to Receive Honorary Degree from Bates
Three days after the Harvard class of 2011 receives their diplomas, Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds will get a degree of her own. Bates College in Lewiston, Maine will award Hammonds an honorary degree on May 29 for her work researching the relationship between medicine and race.
Student Groups Seek Support From Lady Gaga’s BTW Foundation
When the collective star power of Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, and more special guests amasses inside Sanders Theatre for the launch of a new anti-bullying foundation on Wednesday, protesters will gather outside to ask Harvard to shine a spotlight on a long-gone group of people as well.
At 362nd Commencement, 7,321 Are Awarded Degrees
A total of 1,651 Harvard College seniors became graduates Thursday morning as University President Drew G. Faust conferred degrees on the Class of 2013 at the University’s 362nd Commencement exercises in Tercentenary Theatre.
Report, House Renewal at Center of First FAS Meeting
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences gathered Tuesday for the body’s first meeting of the fall semester to discuss a number of continuing initiatives on campus, including the pending relocation of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to Allston, the new Harvard Museums of Science and Culture consortium, and the FAS Dean’s Annual Report for the 2012-2013 academic year.