DEAN JILL REICH: President Hansen, I am honored to present Donald W. Harward.
A year ago, on the eve of his retirement as sixth president of Bates, Don Harward described the awarding of honorary degrees as “final teaching moments,” as gifts the College bestows on the graduating class, honoring individuals who embody the values, traditions, and aspirations of the College. The depth of soul and mind of these individuals, he wrote, reflects the very nature of what Bates is about. It is our great pleasure now to add President Harward to this pantheon of exemplars.
It is immediately apparent when you talk to Don Harward that you are talking to a philosopher, an idea man. His intellectual acumen undergirded his leadership at Bates. He brought to the College a restless open-mindedness, an unwillingness to settle for simple answers, and a comfort level with complexity. “He woke us up,” a colleague recently reflected.
He did wake us up. He challenged us to think broadly about the traditional boundaries of our learning and teaching, giving new life to a strong curriculum through the introduction of eight interdisciplinary programs. He continued to develop and support the superb faculty that is the foundation of our academic strength. Through an ambitious building program, he created new places for teaching and learning. He encouraged faculty and students to conduct original research, often as collaborators, and then to share their new knowledge. Seeing the inherent pedagogical value and intellectual potential of college and community engagement, Don urged us all to become more committed to and involved in the community, to put theory into practice, to affect positive change beyond the boundaries of the campus, to be citizens of the world.
In many ways, President Harward tested the boundaries. For Bates, he knew no bounds. He expected nothing less than excellence. He inspired us to believe strongly in our ideas and then articulate them well, defend them rigorously, and act on them passionately and with integrity.
For his devotion to Bates, for his exemplary leadership of an extraordinary place, and for the depth of his soul and mind, I present Donald W. Harward for the degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.
PRESIDENT ELAINE HANSEN: Donald W. Harward, as Bates’ sixth president, between 1989 and 2002, you helped Bates discover ways to translate a traditional culture of hard work, egalitarianism, and social justice into greater excellence and national reputation for our College. As our tireless collaborator-in-chief, you created an uncommonly close link between campus and community and strengthened qualities of the College, its faculty and its programs. Through increased study-abroad programs, more support for student-faculty collaborations, and a renowned service-learning program, students and faculty explored the world together. You presided over our most successful fund-raising, and a building program that created landmark facilities at a critical juncture in our history. During your tenure, Bates College consistently has been considered among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, attracting its most talented student body.
Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon you the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities which here and everywhere pertain to this degree.