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Fordham Law in The Deacon's Bench, May 10, 2011

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by Deacon Greg Kandra

The good folks at Fordham have announced eight people will be receiving honorary degrees this month — including Brian Williams, George Pataki and (drumroll please) Alex Trebek!


Fordham will present honorary degrees to leaders in journalism, philanthropy, politics, conservation and the arts during its 2011 commencement exercises this month.

Brian Williams, award-winning anchor of NBC Nightly News and 2011 commencement speaker, will receive a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, at the 166th commencement on Saturday, May 21, at the Rose Hill campus.

Also being awarded that degree at that ceremony are philanthropist Glorya Kaufman; Tony Award-winning actress Marian Seldes; and Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy! and active supporter of many causes. Steven E. Sanderson, president and chief executive officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society, will receive a doctorate of science, honoris causa, at the Rose Hill ceremony.

“We are delighted to have Brian Williams address the Class of 2011,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “His breadth of experience, his integrity and his record of accomplishment in journalism are second to none. I cannot think of a speaker better suited to address Fordham’s graduating class as they prepare to make their way out into a tumultuous world.”

The University will present two additional honorary degrees at the Fordham School of Law diploma ceremony on Sunday, May 22, and one at the diploma ceremony for the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA) on Tuesday, May 24.

George E. Pataki, former governor of New York, and Earle I. Mack—businessman, arts advocate, and former U.S. ambassador—will each receive a doctorate of laws, honoris causa, at the Fordham Law diploma ceremony, where Pataki will give an address.

Gen. Peter Pace (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will receive a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, at the GBA diploma ceremony, where he will give an address.