Artists, Scientists, Educators To Receive Honorary Degrees Today

The University will confer honorary degrees on 12 individuals—including a Nobel laureate, two people who have served as presidents of Ivy League universities, and a managing director of the World Bank—at today’s Commencement exercises. Nine men and three women will be honored.

Sydney Brenner, Peter R. Brown, Katherine Dunham, Albert O. Hirschman, Yuan T. Lee, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Howard Raiffa, Mamphela A. Ramphele, Julius B. Richmond, Neil L. Rudenstine, Ruth J. Simmons, Bernard A.O. Williams will receive the degrees.

The honorands ate last night at Annenberg Hall, where they enjoyed a rendition of Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major performed by graduate student Nokuthula Ngwenyama. They also dined on filet mignon, shallot confit with chimichurri sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, and haricots verts, with chocolate concorde and raspberry sauce for dessert.

Sydney Brenner

Brenner is known for his ground-breaking contributions to genetics, including identifying messenger RNA and proving that it consisted of triplet nucleotide codes.

He also was the first to use the roundworm C. elegans to analyze complex biological processes. His more recent research has focused on cloning techniques and vertebrate genomics.

Brenner served as director of the Molecular Sciences Institute—a private research center in Berkeley, Calif. which he founded—until his retirement last year. He continues to serve as a research professor at the Salk Institute for biological studies.

Born in South Africa, Brenner earned his Ph.D. from Oxford in 1952.

Has has received the Lasker Award for Medical Research, the Royal Society of London’s Royal Medal and the Kyoto Prize for his work.

He will be honored with a Doctor of Science degree today.

Peter R. Brown

Born in Dublin, noted historian Brown’s academic career has taken him from the lecture halls of England to California and now to Princeton, New Jersey.

He first studied at Oxford, staying to become a fellow, then a medieval history lecturer and finally a university reader in late Roman and early Byzantine studies. He also worked at the University of London before moving to the United States and becoming the Professor of History and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Brown is now the Rollins Professor of History at Princeton University.

His 30 years of scholarship, which includes Augustine of Hippo andWorld of Late Antiquity and totals more than 50 books and articles, has focused on the development of Christianity in the years following the collapse of pagan Rome.

Aside from the Doctor of Laws degree Brown will be receiving today, he has also received honorary degrees from other institutions, including Columbia University and Dublin’s Trinity College.