The University Record, April 19, 1993

Hillary Clinton to give commencement address

A crowd of more than 50,000—graduating students and their families and friends—will stream into Michigan Stadium May 1 for spring commencement, where Hillary Rodham Clinton will become the first first lady to give a U-M commencement address.

When she and candidate Bill Clinton were on campus in October, more than 13,000 students and community residents welcomed them in front of the Rackham Building.

Hillary Clinton will be one of five persons receiving honorary degrees at spring commencement. Others who will receive honorary degrees are Countess Albina du Boisrouvray, president of the Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud; Donald Hall, poet; Norman F. Ramsey, physicist; and Margaret Dow Towsley, humanitarian and philanthropist.

Some 6,500 students on the Ann Arbor campus expect their degrees this spring. The commencement ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.

Clinton will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. In recent months, she has been widely known for her role as chair of the national task force on health care reform. She has long been an advocate of children’s rights through her affiliation with organizations such as the Children’s Defense Fund. She also has focused her attention on education issues for more than 20 years.

She is known for her ability as a lawyer and legal theorist and was named one of the country’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers.” In 1969 she was the first student at Wellesley College ever asked to deliver a commencement address.

Albina du Boisrouvray, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, is the daughter of Count Guy du Boisrouvray and Countess Luz Mila Patino of Bolivia. She worked as a journalist and in 1971 formed her own movie production company, producing 22 films in 17 years. She was named Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French government and was awarded the French National Order of Merit. The Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud, established to perpetuate her son’s “mission and preserve the radiance of his memory,” supports aerospace engineering education and research, among others.

Donald Hall, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, has written some 13 books of poetry and 20 books of prose. He was Poet Laureate of New Hampshire in 1984–89. In 1989, his The One Day, a book of poetry, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and The Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 1991 he received the Robert Frost Silver Medal from the Poetry Society of America. In 1991 he was appointed to the National Council on the Arts. Last year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publisher Project. He taught at the U-M in 1957–75.

Norman F. Ramsey, who will receive an honorary doctor of science degree, is the Higgins Professor of Physics at Harvard University. He received the 1989 Nobel Prize and the 1988 National Medal of Science. He was president of the American Physical Society and president of Universities Research Association, which operates the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He was chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Institute of Physics. His research work has ranged from molecular beams to particle physics and has concentrated on precision measurements of the electric and magnetic properties of nucleons, nuclei, atoms and molecules.

Margaret Dow Towsley will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Together with her late husband, she founded the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, which for more than 30 years has supported the promotion of child and family welfare, education, and the performing arts. She was the first woman elected to the Ann Arbor City Council, serving two terms in 1953–57. She is the founder and director of the Ann Arbor Children’s Play School. She served as a director of Perry Nursery School and Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. She is a founding member and former director of the Washtenaw County League of Planned Parenthood and was a founding director of the Ann Arbor Community Center.