Trustees: Suggestions welcome for future honorands

March 1, 2010

To the Bates Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Bates College, I write for your advice about the honorary degrees that Bates awards each May at its graduation.  In May 2009 the honorands were Geena Davis, Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.); Robert M. Franklin, Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.); Mimi A. R. Koehl, Doctor of Science (D.Sc.); Ralph T. Perry, Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.); and Fareed Zakaria, Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.).  At the 2010 commencement the College will be honoring, Rennie Harris, James McCarthy, Jane Pauley, Elizabeth Strout ’77, and Teresa Woodruff.

Normally four or five in number, our honorary degree recipients are diverse persons of great distinction whose achievements are consonant with the values of Bates College. The degrees are voted on by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the Board’s Honorary Degree Committee.

The Board and the Committee would be happy to receive any names that members of the Bates community might wish to suggest. The names should be sent to Heather Bumps, Office of the President, 214 Lane Hall  Accompanying each name should be short biographical information, such as a CV or a relevant published description, and a paragraph or two explaining why you think your nominee meets the criteria for a Bates honorary degree (and whether you or some one you know has access to the nominee).

Once in our pool, a suggestion will be active for at least five years. The Committee begins to draw up its list of recommendations well in advance of each commencement. Obviously, we have and will have many more candidates for honorary degrees than we have degrees to give, but the richer the pool, the more likely we are to be able to recommend nominees who represent our institutional aspirations.  For that reason, we welcome your ideas and participation in one of our most significant–and celebratory–communal activities.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.


David L. Foster

Chair, Honorary Degree Committee

Board of Trustees

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