Honorary Degree Recipients

Mr. Thomas Friedman
Internationally Renowned Author, Journalist and Columnist with The New York Times
(Doctor of Letters) 

Thomas Friedman won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, his third Pulitzer for The New York Times. He became the paper's foreign affairs columnist in 1995. Previously, he served as chief economic correspondent in the Washington Bureau after a period as chief White House correspondent. In 2005, Friedman was elected as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. 

Friedman joined The New York Times in 1981 and was appointed Beirut bureau chief in 1982. In 1984, he was transferred from Beirut to Jerusalem, where he served as Israel bureau chief until 1988. He was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting from Lebanon and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting from Israel. Hot, Flat, and Crowded:  Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America, published in 2008 in more than a dozen foreign languages, was published again in 2009 with three new chapters exploring the climate crisis and the global economic crisis parallels. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, was released in April 2005 and won the inaugural Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business “Book of the Year” award. In 2004, he was awarded the “Overseas Press Club Award” for lifetime achievement and the honorary title, Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Queen Elizabeth II. 

His book, From Beirut to Jerusalem (1989), won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 1989 and The Lexus and the Olive Tree (2000) won the “2000 Overseas Press Club” award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy and has been published in 27 languages. He also wrote Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism (2002) and the text accompanying Micha Bar-Am's book, Israel: A Photobiography. 


Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
Victor S. Thomas Professor of
History at Harvard University
(Doctor of Humane Letters)

Dr. Higginbotham is currently the chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and has held this position since 2006.  The Duke University Law School has invited Prof. Higginbotham to be the inaugural John Hope Franklin Professor of American Legal History, and she holds this position for the academic year 2010-2011.  She also served as Acting-Director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute in the Spring 2008.

Professor Higginbotham is co-editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of the African American National Biography (2008)—a multivolume-reference work that presents African American history through the lives of people. The AANB holds more than 4,000 individual biographical entries and will later appear as an on-line edition in even more expanded form.  She also co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., African American Lives (2004), which served as the forerunner to the AANB.

Professor Higginbotham earned a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in American History, an M.A. from Howard University, and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Before coming to Harvard, she taught on the full-time faculties of Dartmouth, the University of Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania.  In addition, she was a Visiting Professor at Princeton University and New York University.

Higginbotham has thoroughly revised and re-written the classic African American history survey From Slavery to Freedom.  She is the co-author with the late John Hope Franklin of this book’s ninth edition, published by McGraw Hill in January 2010.


Dr. John Brooks Slaughter
Professor of Education and Engineering, University of Southern California
(Doctor of Science)

A former director of the National Science Foundation, chancellor of the University of Maryland, College Park, and president of Occidental College, Slaughter has served for many years as a leader in the education, engineering and scientific communities.  He is well-known for his commitment to increasing diversity in higher education with a special focus on the STEM disciplines.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) — where he has served on the Committee on Minorities in Engineering, chaired its Action Forum on Engineering Workforce Diversity and served two terms on the NAE Council — he is also the 2004 recipient of the Academy’s Arthur M. Bueche Award.  A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was elected to the Tau Beta Pi honorary engineering society and was named Eminent Member of the Eta Kappa Nu honorary electrical engineering association.  He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In1993, he was named to the American Society for Engineering Education Hall of Fame.

Among the boards of directors on which he has served are IBM, Northrop Grumman, Monsanto, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Solutia, Inc.  Slaughter was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as assistant director and, later, as Director of the National Science Foundation and by President George W. Bush to membership on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Slaughter earned a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, San Diego, a M.S. degree in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University. He holds honorary degrees from 30 institutions. He is the winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Award in 1997 and UCLA's Medal of Excellence in 1989.  Slaughter was also honored with the first "U.S. Black Engineer of the Year" award in 1987.