DEAN JILL REICH: President Hansen, I am honored to present Carol Bellamy.
Our humanity is grounded in the ways we treat our fellow humans, especially those most dependent upon us. Our future will be defined by the ways we care for, nurture, and encourage our children, for they will carry our society forward. Today we honor a woman whose eloquent advocacy of the rights of children around the world has helped advance the human prospect.
Carol Bellamy exemplifies the very best in what we expect from a person educated in the liberal arts tradition: an inventive thinker, an ethically grounded public servant, a persuasive leader devoted to improving society. After having served as a Peace Corps volunteer, lawyer, financier, director of the Peace Corps, New York state senator, and New York City Council president, Ms. Bellamy brought her considerable talents, experience, and commitment to social justice to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
As executive director of UNICEF since 1995, Ms. Bellamy has advanced a set of ambitious goals aimed at improving the lives of children across the globe, focusing on health, from nutrition programs to the management of infectious diseases that claim the lives of so many children; on providing access to education, particularly for girls, recognizing that only through education can girls and women fully participate in society; on efforts to reduce violence against children, whether in the home or through acts of war; and in reducing child labor and alleviating poverty. To meet these enormous challenges, Ms. Bellamy has skillfully harnessed the collective energy and resources of the world’s governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals by articulating the moral imperative of all nations to protect and nurture children.
For her boundless optimism, for her conviction that every individual deserves to reach his or her fullest potential, and for her diplomatic but relentless call to action, I present Carol Bellamy for the degree Doctor of Humane Letters.
PRESIDENT ELAINE HANSEN: Carol Bellamy, we honor you as one who champions the highest ideals of public health for those who are most vulnerable in our world. As executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, you make the case that poverty can be reduced and the world can be made more secure only if children are allowed to grow in health, peace, and dignity. You use your respected voice in the international community to promote key UNICEF priorities: immunizing every child, ensuring that all girls and boys receive a quality basic education, reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impact on youth, protecting children from violence and exploitation, and introducing universal early childhood development programs.
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.