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For immediate release: June 4, 2002

Contact: Marilyn Marks, (609) 258-3601 or mailto:mmarks@princeton.edu

Princeton awards eight honorary degrees

Recipients honored for contributions to science, education, arts, humanities

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Eight distinguished individuals whose accomplishments span the worlds of science, education, and the arts and humanities received honorary doctorates today at Princeton University's 255th Commencement.

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman awarded degrees to scientist and physician Anthony S. Fauci, acclaimed minister James A. Forbes Jr., radio host Terry Gross, professor and historian Bernard Lewis, Oxford University Vice-Chancellor Colin Lucas, playwright and director Emily Mann, baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. and actress and television host Oprah Winfrey.

Honorary degree recipients are elected by Princeton's Board of Trustees. A trustee committee solicits nominations from the entire University community.

Following is information on the degree recipients, along with the official citations (in italics):

Anthony S. Fauci, Doctor of Science

Since 1984, Anthony Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, an organization he joined in 1968. A number of his scientific observations form the basis for current understanding of the regulation of the human immune system, and he is widely recognized for delineating the precise mechanisms through which immunosupressive agents modulate the human immune response. He has received international recognition for his contributions to the understanding of how the AIDS virus destroys the body's defenses, and he has been instrumental in developing strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with this disease as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Fauci has taken the lead in convincing lawmakers to recognize the seriousness of the disease and to commit resources to its prevention and cure. In the anthrax threat that emerged in the fall of 2001, he led efforts to provide fact-based, clear and prompt communication to the public.

College of the Holy Cross (A.B., 1962); Cornell University (M.D., 1966)

His achievements as a research scientist have given us new tools with which to understand the human immune system and the scourges that attack it. As a public servant he has championed the importance of research into the HIV virus and behavioral strategies to prevent infection. With intelligence and clarity he helped the nation understand the medical implications of the anthrax outbreak, reminding us that while there is no vaccination against the threat of terrorism, the timely dissemination of thoughtful and accurate information is a powerful antidote.

James A. Forbes, Jr., Doctor of Divinity

In 1989, the Reverend Dr. James Forbes Jr. was installed as the fifth senior minister of The Riverside Church in New York City, becoming the first African-American to lead the largest multicultural congregation in the nation. An ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and the Original United Holy Church of America, Forbes has won recognition as one of the most effective and powerful preachers in the English-speaking world. He was a member of the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary from 1976 to 1989 and has taught at Auburn Theological Seminary, the Harvard Divinity School and Yale University. Forbes has served as co-chair of A Partnership of Faith, an interfaith organization of clergy from New York's Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim communities, and is a consultant to the Congress of National Black Churches.

Howard University (B.S., 1957); Union Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1962); Colgate-Rochester Divinity School (D. Min., 1975)

Uniting in his sermons head with heart, experiential concreteness with theoretical perspective, he has enriched the tradition of African-American and American religious oratory and earned widespread acclaim as a "preacher's preacher." Through seminary teaching he has nurtured generations of ministerial students by inspiring them to careers of spirit-filled preaching and transformative social action. From the pulpit of one of the nation's great churches, he reaches out across denominational, racial and international boundaries, revitalizing the church and renewing the spirit of the nation.

Terry Gross, Doctor of Humanities

Since 1975, Terry Gross has produced and hosted the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air." The daily hour-long program includes largely uncut interviews with those who create culture, complemented by opinions from well-known critics and commentators. Winner of broadcasting's prestigious Peabody Award in 1994 for "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights," the program, which originates at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia, reaches about 300 stations and about 3 million listeners in the United States and in Western Europe.

State University of New York at Buffalo (1972, B.A.; 1975 M.Ed.)

Her voice is her presence. Her radio interviews not only reveal the connections between a guest's work and the life that led to that work, they also speak volumes about her: her intelligence, her incisiveness, her wit, her aplomb, even her courage. Offering us a cultural background that can inform our judgment and help us make sense of our world, she has become herself a cultural force. At a time when news is processed and pressed into sound bites, she satisfies our hunger for the whole story with a feast of facts and whets our appetites for new, even challenging perspectives with a breath of fresh airwave.

Bernard Lewis, Doctor of Humane Letters

Bernard Lewis is Cleveland Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, emeritus, at Princeton. He taught at the University of London from 1949 until 1974, when he was appointed to the Princeton faculty. He retired in 1986. Lewis has been called the most eminent living historian of the Middle East and is considered one of the few scholars whose range of knowledge, research and insight has encompassed the entire Islamic world. His monographs, which include "The Political Language of Islam," "Islam and the West" and "Cultures in Conflict," span the medieval to the modern periods and encompass multiple aspects of the Islamic world, from its interactions with the West to understanding of its modern dilemmas. In 1990, he was named the Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He remains a prolific scholar and an active participant in the intellectual life of his Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.

University of London (B.A., 1936; Ph.D., 1939)

For more than a half-century the undisputed leader of Near Eastern studies worldwide, he has illuminated our understanding of the entire Islamic world from the borders of India, through Iran, Turkey and the Arab world, to the ocean boundaries of Morocco. It is not the clash of civilizations that has fascinated him, but rather their interactions and mutual dependencies over two millennia. With the seasoned experience of an historian, his penetrating insights, delivered with exceptional wit and elegance, have helped ordinary citizens as well as powerful heads of state understand and address the complexities and perplexities of our times.

Colin Lucas, Doctor of Laws

In his role as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, Colin Lucas leads one of the world's foremost institutions of higher education. His term as vice-chancellor, begun in 1997, recently was extended to 2004, in part to allow him to oversee a major reorganization of the university's governance structure which he recently introduced. A renowned historian of democratic politics and of the French revolution, his numerous scholarly works include "Beyond the Terror," "The Political Culture of the French Revolution" (editor) and "The New Penguin History of Modern France" (editor). He was professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Chicago and the master of Balliol College, Oxford, before his appointment as vice-chancellor. His leadership has been essential in forging closer collaborative relationships between Oxford and Princeton universities.

University of Oxford (B.A., 1962; D.Phil., 1969; M.A., 1973)

A preeminent historian, whose specialty is France in the 18th century, he has uncovered the seeds of democracy in the chaos of the French revolution. A preeminent statesman in the world of higher learning, he leads Oxford University's evolution into the 21st century. As Oxford's vice-chancellor and a champion of its partnership with Princeton, he has expanded the boundaries of academic life and revived the international Republic of Letters. The same qualities shine through all his activities: intelligence and tolerance, selflessness and fortitude, grit and wit.

Emily Mann, Doctor of Fine Arts

Emily Mann is an award-winning playwright and director. She has described her plays as "theater of testimony," where real-life characters act as witnesses to dramatic events in their own lives. Her play "Still Life" (1982) was the recipient of six Obie Awards; "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years" (1994) was nominated for Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for best play and best director of a play, and went on to Broadway. Since 1990 she has been artistic director of McCarter Theatre in Princeton, and her efforts to build a "theater community" were recognized by McCarter's winning the 1994 Tony for best regional theater. In her capacity as artistic director, she has produced and directed new works and re-interpreted the classics. In addition to writing plays, screenplays, translations and adaptations and directing, she has taught in Princeton University's Program in Theater and Dance.

Harvard University (B.A., 1974); University of Minnesota (M.F.A., 1976)

As a playwright, she has borne witness to the centrality of stories sometimes thought marginal, providing us with unsettling yet eloquent documentaries of the way we live now. As a director, she has allowed us to hear the full range of comic and tragic voices in the works of Shakespeare and Ibsen, Chekhov and Williams. As the artistic director of Princeton's McCarter Theatre and a teacher in the university's Program in Theater and Dance, she has graced the stages and classrooms of our lives with her forceful testimonies to a theater that is both aesthetically pleasing and politically engaged, both beautiful and useful.

Cal Ripken, Jr., Doctor of Humanities

Cal Ripken began his career in baseball with the Baltimore Orioles in 1978, moving from the minors to the major league team in 1981. Early in his career he played shortstop, and as a rookie player he was entrusted by the Orioles with this most demanding of defensive positions. In 1983, the Orioles won the World Series and Ripken won the American League's Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first player to win back-to-back rookie-of-the-year and MVP honors. He also won the MVP award in 1991. Until his retirement in 2001 he sustained his reputation as one of the most remarkable athletes of his generation. In 1995 he surpassed the record set by Lou Gehrig for the number of games played in succession. Ripken's involvement in his hometown includes his founding of the Kelly and Cal Ripken, Jr. Foundation, which supports adult and family literacy, youth recreation, the arts and health-related programs in the Baltimore area; and participation in adult literacy programs through the Baltimore Reads Ripken Learning Center. He is the author of "Ripken: Cal on Cal" (1995) and co-author of "The Only Way I Know" (1997).

We honor him for his legendary perfect attendance record: 2,632 straight games, eclipsing Lou Gehrig's record by more than 500, and for the excellence of his play: 19 times an all-star, twice his league's most valuable player. But more than that we honor the qualities that he epitomizes - dependability, perseverance, stamina, devotion to duty -- and his service to his community through programs dedicated to literacy, health, athletics and the arts. In his work with young people, on and off the diamond, he seeks to help them do what he has always done: apply as fully as possible the talents they were given.

Oprah Gail Winfrey, Doctor of Fine Arts

Oprah Winfrey, whose television broadcasting career began when she was still in high school, produces and hosts the "Oprah Winfrey Show." Nationally syndicated since 1986 and now reaching audiences in 112 countries, the program has won more than 30 Emmy awards, as well as the 1999 National Book Foundation's 50th Anniversary Gold Medal for contributions to reading and books. This award reflects her efforts through Oprah's Book Club, an on-air reading club, to promote enthusiasm for reading. Winfrey made her acting debut in director Steven Spielberg's film "The Color Purple" and starred in the critically acclaimed film "Beloved" and in numerous made-for-television movies. As chairman of Harpo, Inc. and Harpo Films, Inc. as well as other production companies, Winfrey has produced a number of award-winning films. She has taught at Northwestern University's business school. Her support of higher education includes Oprah's Angel Network, which raises college scholarship funds for disadvantaged youngsters.

Tennessee State University (B.S., 1987)

Film producer, actress, publisher, television icon, philanthropist, her roles have a seamlessness beyond their effervescent success. Each one reflects her insatiable curiosity, commitment to universal literacy and the rewards of knowledge, and her insistence on the boundless amelioration of the human spirit. The theme of her life and work represents the University's highest aspirations of education, opportunity and service.

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