Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, October 14, 2013

Six to receive honorary degrees at Winter Commencement exercises

A National Public Radio journalist, a nonprofits expert and former university president, a pioneer who helped create and shape the field of pharmaceutics, a former U.S. surgeon general, a current university president, and a prominent supporter of a U-M writing program are to receive honorary degrees at Winter Commencement 2013 exercises at the Ann Arbor and Flint campuses.

  Norris-Johnson   Boyd

Michele Norris-Johnson


Willard Boyd

  Higuchi   Satcher

William Higuchi


Dr. David Satcher

  Simon   Zell
  Lou Anna Simon   Helen Zell

Michele Norris-Johnson, NPR correspondent and host, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and deliver the Winter Commencement address for the Ann Arbor campus at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at Crisler Center.

Also receiving honorary degrees are Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd, Doctor of Laws; William I. Higuchi, Doctor of Science; Dr. David Satcher, Doctor of Science; Lou Anna K. Simon, Doctor of Laws; and Helen Zell, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Satcher will be honored at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at the UM-Flint Winter Commencement 2013 exercises in the Perani Arena and Events Center.

The degrees are pending approval by the Board of Regents at its meeting Friday.

Norris also leads The Race Card Project, an initiative to foster a wider conversation about race in America.

Boyd is Rawlings-Miller Professor of Law at The University of Iowa and president emeritus of The University of Iowa and The Field Museum in Chicago. He also is an expert on the role of nonprofits.

Higuchi, professor emeritus of pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Utah and a former U-M faculty member, is internationally recognized for his pioneering contributions to the science of drug formulation and delivery.

Satcher, a former U.S. surgeon general, is director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in health.

Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University since 2005, has expanded MSU's reach in the state and around the world by focusing the university's strengths on solutions that enhance and protect quality of life.

Helen Zell, a U-M alumna and Chicago philanthropist, permanently funded U-M's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program through a $50 million donation to LSA, announced March 7. Now renamed the Helen Zell Writers' Program, it has earned recognition as one of the top writing programs in the country.