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. The following are Honorary Degree Recipients for 2015.
Thandeka Luthuli Gcabashe
Thandeka Luthuli Gcabashe, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner (1960) and African National Congress President Chief Albert Luthuli, was a key figure in the movement to end apartheid. She emigrated from South Africa to the U.S. in 1970. As a political exile in the U.S. during the last decades of the apartheid regime, Thandi and her family settled in Atlanta, where she became a nationally known activist engaging in educational projects and divestment campaigns. In 1982, she was appointed director of the Southern Peace Education Program of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and played a role in the anti-apartheid movement. In 1991, Thandi attended the first conference of the African National Congress inside South Africa, and she was a member of an AFSC fact-finding team for an in-country study of South African violence, which resulted in the document Politics of Hope and Fear: South Africa in Transition. She returned to Johannesburg in 1994 to vote in the first post-apartheid election. During the Nelson Mandela presidency, she served as South African ambassador to Venezuela and the West Indies. She currently lives in Durban.
Sister Mary Scullion
Sister Mary Scullion joined the Sisters of Mercy and began working on behalf of the homeless in 1976. She has been involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978. She was a co-founder in 1985 of Woman of Hope, which provides permanent residences and support services for homeless mentally ill women. In 1988, she founded the first Outreach Coordination Center, an innovative program coordinating private and public agencies doing outreach to chronically homeless persons in Center City Philadelphia. The following year she and associate Joan Dawson McConnon co-founded Project H.O.M.E., a nationally recognized organization providing solutions to homelessness and poverty. Her advocacy efforts earned homeless persons the right to vote and led to a landmark federal court decision that affects the fair housing rights of persons with disabilities. She has received numerous awards for her leadership and good works.
Bryan A. Stevenson
Bryan A. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. A graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard School of Government, he has devoted his life to helping disadvantaged people in the Deep South, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. With his staff, he has been largely responsible for reversals or reduced sentences in over 115 death penalty cases. He represents indigent defendants, death row prisoners, and juveniles who have been denied fair and just treatment. He has received countless awards and honors over the years in recognition of his continuing fight for human rights.