Citation for Eric Carle

President Hansen, I am honored to present Eric Carle.

When we instill a love of learning, we bestow on our children a great gift, for knowledge and understanding will enrich their lives and provide infinite joy and wonder. Today we honor an artist and writer whose gifts to generations of children are immeasurable.

For many graduates we celebrate today, the amazing trajectory of learning that has brought them to this moment began with books by Eric Carle, who for 40 years has produced over 70 works for very young readers. His ingenious use of the medium of collage provides exuberant illustrations that complement stories about the humblest of creatures — beetles, spiders, caterpillars — and their unique accomplishments. These tales entertain while they teach: about reading, mathematics, and natural history, but also about overcoming adversity, being kind, and valuing friends and family.

For beginning readers, Mr. Carle’s books pave the way to literacy, the cornerstone of learning and an essential ingredient of a happy and useful life. These books help children understand their own hopes and fears, their own transitions, their own growth, their interactions with others. At the same time, they help children develop the skills of observation they need to see the world afresh everyday. To experience a book by Eric Carle is to feel the sheer pleasure of reading: how many countless booklovers have these books inspired?

For his respect and concern for the youngest of readers, for his intuitive understanding of how they think and perceive their world, and for the delight inspired by his many books, I present Eric Carle for the degree Doctor of Letters.

President’s conferral:

Master storyteller and artist, Eric Carle, you create beautiful and imaginative books that have inspired millions of children to love reading; your contributions to the literary lives of children are unparalleled. Therefore by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon you the Degree of Doctor of Letters, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities which here and everywhere pertain to this degree.