Eight To Receive Honorary Degrees

The University will award eight honorary degrees at the 354th Commencement ceremony today, recognizing eight of the world’s most accomplished figures in scholarship, art, and business.

Accompanied by Bong Ihn Koh ’08 playing Bach on the violoncello, the black tie-clad honorees were treated to a dinner of sea scallops, horseradish-encrusted filet of beef with mushroom portwine sauce, and goat cheese cake with fresh berries at Annenberg last night.

This year’s eight honorary degree candidates include four scientists and engineers, two historians, an artist, and the former Harvard treasurer.


Mary Ellen Avery is a leading researcher in pediatric medicine.


She attended Wheaton College and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before serving as a professor at Johns Hopkins and McGill University. She is the Thomas Morgan Rotch Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics Emerita at Harvard University.

In 1994, Avery was elected to the National Academy of Science for discovering the cause and contributing to the treatment of respiratory disease in young infants.

Avery will receive a Doctor of Science Degree today.


David Baltimore won the Nobel Prize in 1975 for his discovery of reverse transcriptase, a key mechanism in the reproduction of retroviruses such as HIV.

Baltimore is currently the president of the California Institute of Technology.

He attended Swarthmore, MIT, and Rockefeller University. As a faculty member at MIT, he was founding director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Baltimore will receive a Doctor of Science degree today.


Caroline Walker Bynum, a historian renowned for her work on medieval Christianity, is no stranger to Harvard.