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Honorary Degree Recipients Announced for Commencement 2012

Each year Haverford College awards honorary degrees to men and women who have distinguished themselves in letters, the sciences or the arts. Many recipients are noted for their contributions to the overall betterment of humankind and/or Haverford College. This year the College will award honorary degrees to doctor, professor and public health expert Robert C. Bollinger ’79; oceanographer and environmentalist Sylvia A. Earle; and former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Margaret H. Marshall. The three honorees will speak at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 13.

Robert C. Bollinger ’79

Bob Bollinger is Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with joint appointments in Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He has had more than 30 years of experience in international public health, clinical research and education in a broad range of global health priorities including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy and emerging infections. He established and directs the Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education, which provides training to health care providers in resource-limited settings in 18 countries.  He has authored more than 130 research publications and 15 book chapters.  He is Associate Director for Medicine of the Hopkins Center for Global Health, which coordinates health and research activities conducted by more than 400 faculty throughout the University in more than 100 countries.  He has served on the US President’s Advisory Commission for HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and has received the Johns Hopkins University, David Levine Department of Medicine Mentorship award.

Sylvia A. Earle

Called “Her Deepness” by The New Yorker and The New York Times, a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and Time Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet,” Sylvia Earle has led more than 100 expeditions as an oceanographer and explorer, authored 180 publications, and lectured in 70 countries.  She is Explorer in Residence of the National Geographic Society, Leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, Council Chair for the Harte Research Institute, Founder of Mission Blue and the SEAlliance, and formerly the Chief Scientist of NOAA. She has founded three companies and served on various corporate and non-profit boards. A graduate of St. Petersburg College and Florida State University with MA and PhD from Duke University she has 20 honorary doctorates and more than 100 national and international awards including the 2009 TED Prize and in 2011 the Royal Geographical Society’s Patron’s Medal, the Medal of Honor from the Dominican Republic and Australia’s SIMS Green Leadership Award.

Margaret H. Marshall

Margaret H. Marshall is the former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the first woman to hold that position.  During her fourteen years on the Court, Chief Justice Marshall wrote more than 300 opinions, many of them groundbreaking, including the 2003 decision Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which declared that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage. The ruling made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage. Born and raised in South Africa, she was elected president of the National Union of South African Students, at the time a leading anti-apartheid organization. She came to the United States to pursue graduate studies at Harvard University and became a United States citizen in 1978. Before her appointment to the Court, Chief Justice Marshall served as Vice President and General Counsel of Harvard University. She is a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard Law School and Senior Counsel in the Boston law firm Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP.

Students cross in front of Founders Hall.

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