The University Record, November 26, 1996

Neal to speak at MSU commencement

The rivalry between the U-M and Michigan State University may be alive and well on the football field, but relations between the two schools are a little friendlier when it comes to the serious business of graduating students.

Interim President Homer A. Neal will become the third U-M president to receive an honorary degree from MSU when he visits East Lansing Dec. 6 to speak at commencement ceremonies there. Neal will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. Former U-M presidents Robben Fleming and Harold Shapiro also were recipients of honorary degrees from MSU.

Over the years, the U-M also has recognized Michigan State presidents with honorary degrees, including M. Cecil Mackey in 1983 and Clifton R. Wharton Jr. in 1970.

Neal will address graduation ceremonies for advanced-degree candidates at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at MSU's Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Neal, professor of physics, has served as interim president since July 1. A press release issued by MSU noted that he is recognized nationally for leadership and scholarship in his field as well as service in academic administrative posts. The release praised his "notable career in his research area of experimental high-energy physics," including the involvement of his research group in the discovery of the top quark, the last of six fundamental building blocks of all matter.