The regents voted at their March 14 meeting to award four honorary degrees at the Universitys spring commencement exercises.
Honorary degrees will be presented to Donald A. Glaser, professor of physics, and of molecular and cell biology in the Division of Neurobiology, Graduate School, University of CaliforniaBerkeley, and winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize in physics; William H. Gray III, president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and former U.S. Congressman; John Rich, award-winning television and film director and producer; and Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Gray will give the main address at the Spring Commencement April 27, and Shalala will be the main speaker at the University Graduate Exercises April 26.
Gray earned a B.A. degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1963, a masters degree in divinity from Drew Theological Seminary in 1966 and a masters degree in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1970. He has served as pastor of the 5,000-member Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia for more than 30 years.
Gray has been a faculty member and professor of history and religion at St. Peters College, Jersey City State College, Montclair State College, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Temple University.
As head of UNCF, Gray restructured the organization and relocated its headquarters to northern Virginia to improve efficiency, developed a new technology center to link UNCF offices and member colleges electronically, developed the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute to compile and analyze data on issues affecting Black students from kindergarten through graduate school, and completed a $280 million capital campaign. Sixty-five thousand students attend UNCF member schools, and more than 300,000 have graduated from its 39 affiliated institutions.
Winner of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom of Worship Medal, Gray was recognized by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 Most Important Blacks in the World in the 20th Century. Gray will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Shalala was U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 19932000, the longest tenure in history. She directed the governments welfare reform process, made health insurance available to an estimated 3.3 million children, raised child immunization rates to the highest levels in U.S. history, directed reforms of the Food and Drug Administration drug approval process and food safety system, and revitalized the National Institutes of Health. She worked to combat fraud in Medicare and to extend the long-term solvency of the health insurance program for seniors, and she instituted major management changes in Social Security. At the end of her service, the Washington Post described her as one of the most successful government managers in modern times.
She earned an A.B. degree in history from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, in 1962 and a Ph.D. degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1970.
A leading scholar on the political economy of state and local governments, Shalala held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she served as a director and treasurer of the Municipal Assistance Corporation, which helped rescue New York City from near bankruptcy in 1975. Shalala also was Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 197780, and president of Hunter College of the City University of New York, 198087. As chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 198793, Shalala led what was then the nations largest public research university, raising more than $400 million for its endowment and spearheading a $225 million state-private partnership program to renovate and add to the universitys research facilities. In 1992, she received the National Public Service Award and was recognized by Business Week as one of the top five managers in higher education.
Shalala will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Glaser, who earned a B.S. degree from the Case Institute of Technology in 1946 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1950, was a visiting professor of physics at Berkeley in 1959 and became a permanent faculty member there in 1960. After receiving the Nobel Prize, Glaser used his knowledge of physics to pursue the field of molecular biology, where he did research on bacterial evolution, regulation of cell growth, and the causes of cancer and genetic mutation. He co-founded the first biotechnology company, thus starting a whole new industry, and has served on various boards of directors, including the biotech companies Cetus and Chiron.
Glaser currently is working on a psychophysical and theoretical study of the human visual system to increase understanding of mechanisms in the brain that allow us to see.
He served on the IBM Science Advisory Board and is a member of the American Physical Society, Royal Society of Science, International Academy of Science and the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to receiving the U-Ms Henry Russel Award in 1955, Glaser has been honored with the Charles Vernon Boys Prize of the Physical Society in London, the American Physical Society Prize, the Case Institute of Technologys Gold Medal and the American Academy of Achievements Golden Plate Award. Glaser will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
Rich directed five feature films: Boeing-Boeing, Easy Come, Easy Go, Roustabout, The New Interns, and Wives and Lovers before returning to television, where he focused on comedy and social satire. He directed the Dick Van Dyke Show for three years during the 1960s and earned an Emmy for comedy direction. Rich went on to direct such popular television programs as That Girl, Gomer Pyle, Benson, Alice, Hogans Heroes and The Twilight Zone, as well as pilots for Gilligans Island, The Brady Bunch, Barney Miller, The Jeffersons, Maude and Newhart.
Rich is perhaps best known for directing 85 consecutive episodes of All in the Family, 197175, for which he was named Director of the Year by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and received two Emmy Awardsone for director and one for best producer. His other honors include the Christopher Award for the one-man show Henry Fonda as Clarence Darrow, the Environmental Media Award for MacGyver, two Golden Globe Awards and the NAACP Image Award.
Rich, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, serves on the LS&A Visiting Committee. He endowed the annual John Rich Professorship in the Institute for the Humanities and received the Sesquicentennial Award.