Honorary Degree Recipients
the Degree of Doctor of Laws
On January 2, 1998, Lee P. Brown was inaugurated as the 50th Mayor of the City of Houston. On November 2, 1999, Houston voters overwhelmingly reelected Mayor Brown to a second term.
Mayor Brown has spent his professional career working to empower people and communities to improve their safety, security, and quality of life. At his inauguration, Mayor Brown outlined a set of five guiding principles. The first, Neighborhood Oriented Government, builds a stronger bond between neighborhoods and City Hall. Recognizing the size and scope of Houston, the city has been divided into 88 super neighborhoods to solve problems at the neighborhood level.
Each super neighborhood has a council and liaison, serving as links between the neighborhood and city government. Mayor Brown has improved access to city government through Town Hall Meetings, where he literally takes city government to the communities, and Mayor's Night In, where Mayor Brown opens up City Hall at night. Mayor Brown stresses the point that city employees are public servants and are expected to deliver city services in a prompt and courteous manner.
Mayor Brown dedicated his administration to the children of Houston and made providing Opportunities for Youth his second guiding principle. He has lived up to his promise by increasing funds for after-school programs and creating a variety of youth-oriented programs such as the Power Card Challenge, which doubled the number of juvenile library cardholders in its first year. Mayor Brown was named 1999 Politician of the Year by Library Journal for his vision and active support of the library system and the children of Houston.
Improving Transportation and Infrastructure is Mayor Brown's third guiding principle. He is currently overseeing a $3 billion, five-year Capital Improvement Plan, including a $1.4 billion program for Houston's three major airports, the largest capital improvement project ever launched for Houston's Airport System. The Houston 2000 Transportation Plan will address the city's long-term transportation needs, including light rail.
Mayor Brown has made Economic Development and International Trade the fourth guiding principle of his administration. More than 150,000 construction permits valued at over $3 billion were issued during fiscal year 1998-1999. Downtown is thriving with more than $1.6 billion in projects under construction or completed and another $1 billion under development. As the driving force behind downtown revitalization, Mayor Brown has been involved in such major downtown projects as the opening of Bayou Place and Sesquicentennial Park; the planned expansion of George R. Brown Convention Center; and the construction of Enron Field, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the Convention Center Hotel, and the Cotswold Project, a plan to improve the streetscape in the northern portion of downtown. Mayor Brown has led several trade missions abroad and is overseeing the effort to bring the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to Houston.
Mayor Brown's fifth guiding principle, Continuous Management Improvement, focuses on improving the efficiency of every city department. Implementation of Continuous Management Improvement began with an in-depth analysis of all of the city's departments by the Mayor's Transition Team. The team then made recommendations for streamlining and improving the city's delivery of services. Many of the recommendations have been implemented and have already proven effective in improving city government, including a pay raise for police officers, the completion of a master plan for the city's parks system, and the establishment of the Office of the Inspector General to investigate allegations of employee misconduct.
The son of farm workers, Lee Brown worked his way through college and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Fresno State University in 1961, a Master’s in Sociology from San Jose State University in 1964, and a Master’s (1968) and a Doctorate (1970) in Criminology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mayor Brown began his distinguished career in law enforcement in 1960 as a patrolman in San Jose, California. He has served as Sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon; Commissioner of Public Safety in Atlanta, Georgia; Chief of the Houston Police Department; and Commissioner of the New York City Police Department. In 1993, Brown's success as a crime-fighter was recognized when President Clinton selected him to serve in the cabinet-level position of Director of National Drug Control Policy. Prior to seeking the office of Mayor, Dr. Brown was the Radaslav A. Tsanoff Professor of Public Affairs in the Department of Sociology and a Scholar at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
Mayor Brown has four grown children and eleven grandchildren from his marriage to his late wife, Yvonne. He is now married to Frances Young, a teacher in the Houston Independent School District.
the Degree of Doctor of Science
Dr. Mark Dean is presently an IBM Fellow and Vice President of Systems in IBM Research. He is responsible for the research and application of systems technologies spanning circuits to operating environments. Key technologies in his research team include cellular systems structures (Blue Gene), digital visualization, DA tools, Linux optimizations for Pervasive, SMPs & Clusters, Settop Box integration, MXT, S/390 & PowerPC processors, super dense servers, formal verification methods, and high speed low power circuits.
Prior to this, Dr. Dean was responsible for the IBM Austin Research Laboratory in Austin, Texas. He was appointed to this position in November 1997. The primary focus of the laboratory is the development of high performance microprocessors, systems and software, including the circuits, tools, and micro-architectures to support high frequency operation. Other ARL research activities include high MIPS/milliwatt embedded controllers, full system simulation, formal verification, design for manufacturability, and low temperature cooling methods. Recent lab accomplishments include the successful testing of the first 1GHz CMOS microprocessor, design of a high speed DRAM (<5ns latency), ACES EDA tool development, SimOS-PPC full system simulator demonstration, and the prototyping of a highly scaleable SMP architecture (NUMA) for Intel and PowerPC.
Throughout his 22-year career with IBM, Mark has held several engineering positions in the area of computer system hardware architecture and design He worked on establishing the strategy, architecture, design, and business plan for proposed video server offerings and studied the technology and business opportunity for settop boxes. He was also chief engineer for the development of the IBM PC/AT, ISA systems bus, PS/2 Model 70 & 80, the Color Graphics Adapter, and numerous other subsystems.
Dr. Dean received a BSEE degree from the University of Tennessee in 1979, a MSEE degree from Florida Atlantic University in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1992. He has papers published in the IEEE Computer Society Press, MIT Press, and IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin.
Dr. Dean's most recent awards include: IEEE Fellow, the Black Engineer of the Year Award, the NSBE Distinguished Engineer award, and the Ronald H. Brown American Innovators Award in Washington, DC. He was inducted as a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Dean was appointed to IBM Fellow in 1995, IBM's highest technical honor. Only 50 out of more than 310,000 IBM employees have the level of IBM Fellow. Dr. Dean is also a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Dr. Dean has received several academic and IBM awards, including 13 Invention Achievement Awards and six Corporate Awards. He also has more than 30 patents or patents pending.
the Degree of Doctor of Humanities
Judith Jamison was appointed Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1989, after the death of her mentor, Alvin Ailey. A native of Philadelphia, she studied with the late Marion Cuvjet, was discovered by Agnes de Mille, and made her New York debut with American Ballet Theatre in 1964. She became a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 1965 and danced with the company for 15 years to great acclaim. Recognizing her extraordinary talent, Mr. Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for her, most notably the tour de force solo, Cry.
After leaving the Company in 1980, Ms. Jamison appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world and starred in the hit Broadway musical, Sophisticated Ladies. In 1988, she formed her own company, The Jamison Project; a PBS special depicting her creative process, Judith Jamison: The Dancemaker aired nationally the same year.
As a highly regarded choreographer, Ms. Jamison has created works for many companies. HERE…NOW, commissioned for the 2002 Cultural Olympiad of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games, is her most recent ballet. She choreographed Double Exposure for the Lincoln Center Festival in July 2000. Divining (1984), Rift (1991), Hymn (1993), Riverside (1995), Sweet Release (1996), and Echo: Far From Home (1998) are other major works she has choreographed for the Company.
Ms. Jamison is a master teacher, lecturer, and author. Her autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was published in 1993. She is a noted authority on modern dance and an advocate for education in the arts. She is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including a prime time Emmy Award and an American Choreography Award for Outstanding Choreography in the PPS “Great Performances: Dance In America” special, A Hymn for Alvin Ailey. In December 1999, Ms. Jamison was presented with the Kennedy Center Honor, recognizing her lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. She received the Algur H. Meadows Award from Southern Methodist University in 2001. Most recently, Ms. Jamison carried the Olympic torch during the relay prior to the opening ceremonies in Salt Lake City.
Today, Judith Jamison presides over a renewed Ailey organization, fiscally and artistically invigorated. Her presence has been a catalyst, propelling the organization in new directions that include the development of the Women's Choreography Initiative, performances at the 2002 Cultural Olympiad, the 1996 Atlanta Games, and two unprecedented engagements in South Africa. Ms. Jamison has continued Mr. Ailey’s practice of showcasing the talents of emerging choreographers from within the ranks of the Company. As Artistic Director of The Ailey School, the official school of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, she has helped to implement a multicultural curriculum including salsa and the dances of West Africa and South India. She has also been a guiding force in establishing the B.F.A. program between The Ailey School and Fordham University, which offers a unique combination of superb dance training and a superior liberal arts education. Following the tradition of Alvin Ailey, Ms. Jamison is dedicated to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture, spearheading initiatives to bring dance into the community and programs that introduce children to the arts. She remains committed to promoting the significance of the Ailey legacy—dance as a medium to honoring the past, celebrating the present, and fearlessly reaching into the future. Currently, she is at the forefront of the campaign for The Ailey’s new home. The state-of-the-art building, scheduled to open in 2004, will be the realization of a long-awaited dream.
Special Citation of Achievement
Venus Williams has come a long way from the gang-plagued city outside Los Angeles where she grew up and practiced tennis between drive-by shootings, broken glass, and drug dealers. She made her professional tennis debut at the tender age of 14 in Oakland, California, having won every junior event she entered before turning pro. While her signature beads have given way to stylish braids, her quest toward the top of the tennis world continues unabated.
With a serve that has been clocked at 127 mph, Ms. Williams is setting a new standard for power in the sport. She won her first singles title, the IGA Tennis Classic, in March 1998, and holds numerous tournament titles, including two-time winner of the U.S. Open and Wimbledon (she is the first African-American woman to win the Wimbledon title since Althea Gibson).
In 2000 alone, Ms. Williams renewed her contract with Reebok, believed to be the most lucrative endorsement deal in women’s sports; won the Olympic gold medal in singles and doubles, becoming one of only two women to win both in medal competition; and was named Sports Woman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. Ms. Williams continually defies convention, most recently in February 2002 when she became the first African-American woman to reach the No. 1 ranking on the Sanex WTA Tour.
Born in 1980, the fourth of five girls, Ms. Williams’ dad, Richard, taught all of his daughters to play tennis at the age of four. He went on to coach the two youngest. Venus and Serena both took to the game successfully, becoming the first sisters to be ranked in the Top 10 simultaneously since 1991. The two won the French Open doubles title, making them the first sisters to win a Grand Slam crown together in the 20th century. Ms. Williams says she doesn’t intend to play past the age of 26. In fact, she plans to ponder a number of other career options, including her interest in becoming a clothing designer.