Yale Bulletin
and Calendar

May 31-June 21, 1999Volume 27, Number 33

Honorary Degrees

Ten outstanding individuals were awarded honorary degrees during Commencement exercises on Old Campus on May 24. The names of this year's honorands, a short biography and their award citation follow.

Bruce Alberts

President of the National Academy of Sciences

Doctor of Science

Bruce Alberts is widely recognized for his scholarly work in biochemistry and molecular biology. Currently, he is president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., the nation's foremost scientific organization.

Alberts is a principal author of "The Molecular Biology of the Cell," considered the leading textbook of its kind. His most recent book, "Essential Cell Biology," presents this subject matter to a wider public audience. He has championed the need to improve the teaching of science at all levels, and focused the NAS's attention on the importance of science education and the role of scientists in society. He has also urged that elementary and secondary education shift from simply teaching science facts to treating science as a core subject, in which all students acquire the ability to think critically using the tools of scientists.

"Widely admired for your scholarly accomplishments in biochemistry and molecular biology, you have become a champion for science education in the earliest and most formative years of schooling. You have used your position of leadership at the National Academy of Sciences to advocate support for scientific research at the highest levels and to call for increased investment in the scientific literacy required for all our citizens. Your own citizenship, in the realms of science and public policy, inspires those of us in this academy, and Yale is pleased to honor you by conferring upon you the degree of Doctor of Science."

Julie Andrews


Doctor of Fine Arts

Julie Andrews was 12 years old when she made her professional singing debut at London's Hippodrome Theatre. At age 18, she appeared on Broadway to critical acclaim in "The Boy Friend." Her Broadway roles also include Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" and Guinevere in "Camelot." As the star of Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins," Andrews was the first actress to appear in a major film combining animation and live actors, and won the Academy Award for best actress. She then starred in "The Sound of Music," one of her best-loved films. Her honors also include five Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy Award. In the 1980s, Andrews moved to more challenging films, including "S.O.B.," "Victor/Victoria" and "Duet for One," often collaborating with her husband, producer Blake Edwards. Andrews returned to Broadway in 1996 to reprise her "Victor/Victoria" performance on the stage. Andrews is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women and is on the board of Operation USA, an international disaster relief fund. She wrote two children's books under the pen name of Julie Edwards.

"The sound of your music has shaped our lives. In roles ranging from Eliza Doolittle, Mary Poppins, and Guinevere to Maria von Trapp and Victor-Victoria, you have amazed us with your dramatic talent, amused us with your gift of humor, and challenged us to confront society's prejudices. But you have done more than delight us: you have mastered every medium -- stage, film, television, and concert hall -- and every theatrical genre -- comedy, drama, and musical. You have given us some of our best loved characters, and we now gratefully give you the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts."

Aharon Barak

President of the Supreme Court of Israel

Doctor of Laws

Aharon Barak has helped shape the legal process in Israel in profound ways. Born in Lithuania, Barak immigrated to Israel with his parents in 1947. He began his legal career in the academic arena. In 1972, he became the youngest scholar at Hebrew University to achieve the rank of professor, and two years later, became dean of the Faculty of Law. Barak was a visiting professor at Yale for many years and still participates in the Law School's annual Global Constitutionalism Seminar. His many books include a multi-volume work on legal interpretation. In recognition of his scholarship, Barak was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize in 1975. As Israel's attorney general, 1975-78, Barak helped draft the 1978 Camp David peace accord with Egypt. He joined the Israeli Supreme Court in 1978 and became its president in 1995. Under Barak's leadership, the court has been transformed from a "common law" tribunal into an independent body with a more constitutional form of legal review that seeks to protect the rights of all.

"Outstanding scholarship, sound judgment, and an unflinching commitment to right have marked your career in the academy, government and law. As President of the Supreme Court of Israel, you have established the courts as partners with the legislature. Your work has been characterized by a search for the middle ground between secular and religious interests, the place where all can stand together under the protection of the law. As Israel's Attorney General, a respected professor at Hebrew University, or a regular visitor to the Yale School of Law, you have been an advocate of peace, a proponent of justice, and a teacher of all. And we are honored to confer upon you this degree of Doctor of Laws."

Alan Greenspan

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

Doctor of Humane Letters

Alan Greenspan has chaired the Federal Reserve Board since 1987, serving in the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations. He is widely credited with charting a stable course for the U.S. economy in the midst of global financial challenges.

For 30 years previously Greenspan was chair and president of Townsend-Greenspan & Co., an economic consulting firm in New York. He also held many high-ranking government posts, receiving presidential appointments to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Commission on Financial Structure and Regulation, the Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force, and the Task Force on Economic Growth. Greenspan has shared his expertise as a board member or director of numerous private institutions and corporations. His honors include the Thomas Jefferson Award from the American Institution for Public Service for the greatest public service performed by an elected or appointed official.

"With balance and brilliance, you have set a course for monetary policy that has helped our nation achieve its longest period of uninterrupted economic growth. On your watch, both unemployment and inflation have been reduced. In the face of global financial challenges, your response has been wise and steady. You have served three presidents, earning bipartisan respect from your colleagues in government and the gratitude of investors, large and small. For your vision for this country and your steadfast stewardship of its material well-being, Yale University is proud to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters."

Barbara Harris

Episcopal Bishop

Doctor of Divinity

Barbara Harris was ordained a suffragan bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church in 1989, becoming the first woman ever to hold that office. Active in the church from an early age, Harris' career path initially did not include the ministry. After high school, she went to work for a black-owned national public relations firm, representing major U.S. corporations in black communities. She eventually became president of the company, a post she held for a decade. Her next job was with Sun Oil Company, directing the public relations department. Throughout, Harris maintained ties to the church through volunteer work, becoming active in the civil rights movement and developing a strong sense of justice and compassion for poor and oppressed people. While continuing to work, she began collegiate and ecclesiastical studies and was ordained a priest in 1980. Harris has served the church as a parish minister, as a prison chaplain and as executive director of the Episcopal Church Publishing Company, where she gained a reputation for powerful writing that spoke out against racism and conservative politics.

"As the first woman to be named a bishop in the Anglican Communion, you have opened opportunities for women at all levels of the worldwide family of Anglican Churches. Building on a lifetime of service, you modeled the priesthood of all believers long before your ordination. You now inspire the Church to a more inclusive embrace of those called to its leadership and service. With courage and conviction, you have spoken out for those who exist on the margins of life -- the imprisoned, the oppressed, the least and the lost. We honor the example of your work and the witness of your life with the degree of Doctor of Divinity."

Seamus Justin Heaney

Nobel Laureate Poet

Doctor of Letters

Born in County Derry, Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney is a poet, critic, translator and playwright, who draws on the rituals, landscapes and legends of his native countryside. His poems have been praised by scholars, critics and the poem-reading public for being both profound and accessible. For nearly a quarter-century Heaney has also taught at home and abroad. In 1984, he became the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard. In 1989 he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, a post he held concurrently with the Boylston Professorship until 1994. He is currently Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet in Residence at Harvard. Early in his career Heaney was dubbed by Robert Lowell as "the most important poet since Yeats." His art often bears obliquely or directly on Ireland and its people, while also exploring the dilemmas of the human condition and the intricacies of the human heart. In 1995, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past."

"Probing the depths of language with your "squat pen," you have unearthed the rhythms of Ireland, setting them down again in your poetry. Drawing from the deep roots of your native soil, the lore and legends of the past, and the "diamond absolutes" of everyday life, you create a universal realm in which North and South give way to the stretching landscape of the human heart. Critic, translator, playwright, teacher and, above all, consummate practitioner of the art of poetry, your voice records the "music of what happens." Ireland's poet, and poet of all those who pay homage to the majesty of the English tongue: We proudly confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Letters."

Samuel Roger Horchow


Doctor of Humane Letters

A Yale graduate (B.A. '50), Roger Horchow created his own successful mail order catalog enterprise, The Horchow Collection, in the 1970s, at a time when that form of marketing was uncommon. He recounted his experiences in "Elephants in Your Mailbox: How I Learned the Secrets of Mail-order Marketing Despite Having Made Twenty-five Horrendous Mistakes." He is also author of "Living in Style: In a Time When Taste Means More Than Money" and "From the Post Office to the Box Office." After retiring from retailing, Horchow produced the Gershwin musical "Crazy About You" on Broadway. The musical won the Tony Award in New York, and the London version garnered the Sir Laurence Olivier Award. Horchow is now producing the Broadway revival of "Kiss Me Kate," a musical created by Yale alumnus Cole Porter. Horchow has shared his expertise and his resources with many educational, artistic and service organizations, and serves on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations. He was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1998, and was named Dallas Philanthropist of the year in 1999.

"You have made your mark by envisioning bold new ventures and making them a reality. From a successful career in traditional retailing, you showed brilliance and ingenuity in launching a mail-order catalogue that spawned an industry. In recent years, your artistic taste and business sense have merged, as you have become a respected producer of musical theater. Your generous support has strengthened many institutions, including your alma mater, as you have offered your time and keen counsel, as well as your resources. You are one of our own, and we are proud to award your second Yale degree, Doctor of Humane Letters."

Charles Kuen Kao

Engineer and Inventor

Doctor of Science

Charles Kuen Kao is known as the father of fiber-optic communications for the pioneering research that has changed how the world communicates. Born in Shanghai, China, Kao held various research and development positions with the firm now known as ITT Corporation. In 1966, while working there, he published the seminal paper on the theory and practice of optical fiber for communication applications. Later, he helped develop fiber optic products for civic and military uses. Kao was chair of electronics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong for four years and president of The Chinese University of Hong Kong for nine years. He holds over 30 patents for his various discoveries; has written two books on optical fibers and one on the business of high technology; and belongs to prestigious professional societies in several countries. Kao was an adjunct professor at Yale in 1984-85 and a fellow of Trumbull College. In 1996, he became the first Chinese native to receive the Japan Prize, that country's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for his pioneering research. His many other accolades include having a planet named for him.

"The father of fiber optics, your pioneering research has changed the way the world communicates. Your invention has been used to create worldwide networks of voice and data transmission, paving the way for the information superhighway. By combining glass and light, your technology made possible the development of picture-perfect video transmissions, as well as faster telephone and computer services. You have demonstrated your ability in both industry and the academy as Executive Scientist at ITT and as President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In recognition of your achievements as an inventor and an educator, we are honored to award you this degree of Doctor of Science."

Dr. Julius Benjamin Richmond

First Director of Head Start

Doctor of Medical Sciences

Julius Richmond has helped guide national policy and programs for children at high risk. As the first director of Project Head Start in 1965, he led the country's major intervention program for economically disadvantaged young children and their families. While on the University of Illinois faculty, he directed the Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago, where he helped launch a new, developmental approach to pediatrics with special attention to children in poverty. He is currently the John D. MacArthur Professor Emeritus of Health Policy at Harvard, and was formerly child-psychiatrist-in-chief of the Boston Children's Hospital and director of the Judge Baker Guidance Center. While at Head Start, Richmond also headed the Health Affairs and the Neighborhood Health Center Program for the Office of Economic Opportunity. As surgeon general and assistant secretary of health, 1977-81, he championed the importance of access to health care. He wrote the first Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, titled "Healthy People," which established quantitative goals for the nation. He also has worked for passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, among other causes.

"You have been a friend to the nation's children throughout your career. As the first Director of Head Start, you established this inspiring and effective program as a foundation for the success of disadvantaged children. As pediatrician, professor, and Surgeon General, you have served as mentor to a generation of leaders in government and the academy, and they in turn have helped to shape social research, policy, and programs. Above all, your work has brought hope to millions of children, giving them the means to strive for their highest potential and to take pride in their achievements. We are honored to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Medical Sciences."

Helen Suzman

South African Lawmaker

Doctor of Laws

A longtime advocate of racial equality, Suzman was a single voice of opposition on the South African Parliament for 13 years and was the only member to register "no" votes against apartheid. A teacher of economic history at Witwatersrand University, she decided to become involved in politics after testifying before a government commission examining the situation of the hundreds of thousands of blacks who left their tribal homelands during World War II to work in South African cities -- an experience that raised her awareness of the oppressive conditions of black workers. She was elected as an opposition member of Parliament in the liberal constituency of Houghton, Johannesburg, in 1953, and held that post for 36 years before retiring. Suzman forged strong ties with the leaders of the African National Congress, including Nelson Mandela. She chronicled her experiences in her memoirs, "In No Uncertain Terms." A member of the Independent Electoral Commission in South Africa during its first democratic election in 1994, Suzman is honorary vice-president of the South African Institute of Race Relations and served on the South African Human Rights Commission. Her honors include South Africa's Gold Order of Merit, given to her by Mandela in 1997.

"As a South African lawmaker, you made a career of speaking forcefully against the inhumanity of apartheid. In no uncertain terms, you have championed equality under law for all the people of your country, helping to create a new and more just South Africa. As the sole opposition voice among white lawmakers for 13 years, you courageously visited imprisoned leaders, attended funerals in black townships, and worked tirelessly for human rights. You have earned respect from your foes, loyalty from your followers, and admiration from all of us. We are honored to award you the degree of Doctor of Laws."

C O M M E N C E M E N T1 9 9 9


Baccalaureate Address

Honorary Degrees

Senior Class Day

Teaching Prizes

Scholastic Prizes

Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize

Athletic Awards

David Everett Chantler Prize

Other Undergraduate Honors

Wilbur Cross Medals

Graduate Student Awards


Yale celebrates 298th Commencement
Yale launching a more user-friendly home page on the World Wide Web
Anthony T. Kronman reappointed as Dean of Law School
Festival will bring world of art and ideas to city
Endowed Professorships
New Haven attorney Julie Carter joins Office of General Counsel
To eat well, relax at the table, advises master chef Pépin
Reunion programs will both educate and entertain returning alumni
Some Yale graduates dancing down a different path
Yale's new student-built solar car headed for Sunracye '99
New alumnae's nursing training included health work overseas
Harold Samuel dies; brought musicians' archives to Yale
Dining staff friendliness ranks high on survey
Prostate Cancer Awareness Stamp to be unveiled at campus event
Conference to explore the future of language
Dr. William F. Collins is recognized for lifetime contributions to neurosurgery

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Pictured are (front row) Seamus Heaney, Alan Greenspan, President Richard C. Levin, Helen Suzman, and Aharon Barak; (back row, from left) Charles Kuen Kao, Barbara Harris, S. Roger Horchow, Bruce Alberts, Julie Andrews, and Dr. Julius B. Richmond.