Honorary Degree Recipients Announced for Commencement 2016
At Haverford's 178th Commencement, held on May 14, the College will award honorary degrees to anti-poverty policy expert Robert Greenstein and prison-issues activist Laura Magnani.
Each year Haverford College awards honorary degrees to people 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. At the 178th Commencement ceremony, which will be held Saturday, May 14, the College will award honorary degrees to anti-poverty policy expert Robert Greenstein and prison-issues activist Laura Magnani.
Greenstein is the founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a policy institute in Washington, D.C., that works at federal and state levels on budget and tax policy and on programs and policies that affect people with low incomes. The Center, whose core mission is to secure policies that reduce poverty and inequality, has played a central role in designing and securing enactment of key reforms and expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Food Stamp Program, child nutrition programs, the Section 8 housing voucher program, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among others. It has also played a lead role in mounting opposition to proposals to cut anti-poverty programs or institute regressive tax policies.
Greenstein has written reports, analyses, book chapters, op-ed pieces, and magazine articles on budget- and poverty-related issues. He appears on national television news and public affairs programs and testifies frequently on Capitol Hill. His advice is sought frequently by policymakers in Congress and the Administration.
Magnani is director of American Friends Service Committee’s Bay Area Healing Justice Program in California and is an expert on solitary confinement. As a social activist and a national leader in the prison abolitionist movement, she has worked on criminal justice issues for over 35 years. The author of numerous books and articles, she wrote America's First Penitentiary: A 200-Year-Old Failure in 2000 and co-authored Beyond Prisons: A New Interfaith Paradigm for Our Failed Prison System with Harmon Wray in 2006. She also wrote the 2008 report Buried Alive: Long-term Isolation in California’s Youth and Adult Prisons. A frequent commentator on criminal justice issues in the media, Magnani has also used art to educate the public on prison issues, convened a women’s group on healing from violence at the federal women’s prison in Dublin, and spent decades organizing against solitary confinement.
Magnani received a B.A in ethnic studies from the University of California in 1971, and an M.A. in religion and society from the Pacific School of Religion in 1982. She is a Quaker and a member of Strawberry Creek Meeting of Pacific Yearly Meeting.
Both Greenstein and Magnani will speak at the Commencement ceremony on May 14, which begins at 10 a.m. For more information on Commencement: www.haverford.edu/commencement.