Dear Howard University Community:
I am pleased to inform you of the esteemed speaker and honorary degree recipients for this year’s Commencement:
Speaker: Mr. Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League(Doctor of Humane Letters)
His creativity has led to initiatives such as the Urban Youth Empowerment Program to assist young adults in securing sustainable jobs, and Entrepreneurship Centers in five cities to help the growth of small businesses. Also, Mr. Morial created the National Urban League Empowerment Fund, which has pumped almost $200 million into urban impact businesses including minority business through both debt and equity investments.
|As President of the National Urban League (NUL) since 2003, Morial has served as the primary catalyst for an era of change -- a transformation for the nearly 100 year old civil rights organization. His energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the NUL’s work around an empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps for all Americans, rich and poor. Under his stewardship the NUL has had record fundraising success towards a $250 million, five-year fundraising goal and he has secured the Better Business Bureau nonprofit certification, which has established the NUL as a leading national nonprofit.
Morial also served two terms as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and African American Studies, he also holds a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., as well as honorary degrees from Xavier University, Wilberforce University, and the University of South Carolina Upstate. He serves as an executive committee member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Black Leadership Forum, and Leadership 18, and is a Board Member of the Muhammad Ali Center, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony Magazine, as well as one of the “Top 50 Nonprofit Executives” by the Nonprofit Times.
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. His latest book, “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. 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.
Sidney A. Ribeau