PHILADELPHIA –- The Honorable Jon M. Huntsman Jr., U.S. ambassador to China, will deliver the address at the University of Pennsylvania’s 254th commencement on Monday, May 17.
Huntsman’s long public-service career includes being elected to two terms as governor of Utah. He was formerly deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia, ambassador to Singapore and deputy U.S. trade representative and is a founding director of the Pacific Council on International Policy.
“It is an honor to welcome Jon Huntsman Jr. back to campus as this year’s Commencement speaker,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “He is a distinguished public servant -- and a proud Penn alum -- and has been an exemplary role model not only for our graduating students but for all Americans. He is carrying on a Penn tradition of outreach and engagement with the world.”
Huntsman graduated from Penn in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in international politics. He was a member of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1996 through 2000, and his family has been a strong benefactor of the University, endowing the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business and Jon M. Huntsman Hall, named for the ambassador’s father, at Penn’s Wharton School.
In March, Huntsman will host Gutmann and other Penn leaders and alumni at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, as part of a University visit to China.
At Commencement, Huntsman will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Other 2010 Penn honorary degree recipients will be:
• Sandra M. Faber, an observational astronomer and a pioneer in the study of the formation and evolution of galaxies and of the structure of the universe. Faber is a researcher at the Lick Observatory and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. One of her first discoveries was the Faber-Jackson relation, the first structural scaling law for galaxies. Faber was one of three astronomers who diagnosed the optical flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope and played a major role in its repair. She also established the scientific case for Keck Telescopes and led construction of a new spectograph, DEIMOS, for Keck II in order to study distant galaxies.
Faber will be awarded an honorary doctor of science degree.
• Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, who has dedicated his life to treating some of the world’s poorest populations and helping to raise the standard of health care in underdeveloped areas of the world, including Haiti and several African nations.
Farmer is one of the founding directors of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health-care services to and advocacy for the world’s most impoverished communities. A medical clinic he established in Cange, Haiti, in 1987, has grown into a multi-service health complex with a hospital and surgical facilities and a primary school and training program for outreach workers. After the recent earthquate, Farmer joined with world leaders and public health experts to discuss short- and long-term plans for Haiti’s reconstruction.
Farmer will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.
• Abdullah Ibrahim, born in South Africa, is a musician whose style of fusing jazz, traditional African songs and personal spirituality has inspired people around the world for more than six decades. His albums include “Echoes from Africa,” “African Marketplace,” “Zimbabwe” and his most recent work, “Senzo.” He has collaborated with some of the world’s most influential jazz musicians, including Duke Ellington, Elvin Jones, John Coltrane and Don Cherry. Ibrahim’s music was the subject of two documentary films, “Abdullah Ibrahim: Brother with Perfect Timing” and “Abdullah Ibrahim: Struggle for Love.” He was also featured in Lee Hirsch’s award-winning documentary, “Amandla! Revolution in Four Part Harmony,” which recounts the role of music in the anti-apartheid movement.
Ibrahim will be awarded an honorary doctor of music degree.
• Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey, the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Lavizzo-Mourey is a physician, scholar, policymaker and national leader who works tirelessly to improve the quality of health care for Americans, from combating childhood obesity to geriatric medicine. From 1986 to 2002, she held faculty appointments at Penn in the schools of Medicine and Nursing and in the Wharton School, and she is the former director of the Penn Institute on Aging.
Lavizzo-Mourey will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.
• Greg Mortenson is a humanitarian, philanthropist, best-selling author, adventurer and advocate who is the co-founder and executive director of the Central Asia Institute, a nonprofit organization that has established and supported more than 130 schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is also the founder of Pennies for Peace, an Institute program that works to educate and encourage American children to be active participants in global educational efforts.
Mortenson will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.
• Peter C. Nowell, responsible for groundbreaking work in the genetics of cancer, has significantly advanced the world’s understanding of the genetic basis of cancer and provided the modern foundation for the fields of cancer biology and cancer genetics.
Nowell is a professor emeritus of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In his nearly 50 years at Penn, Nowell established himself as one of the world’s most prominent research scientists and outstanding teachers. His research has led to many insights into the processes involved in the normal and abnormal growth of cells and has profoundly impacted the course of medical care. He has served as chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and was the first director of what is now the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn.
Nowell will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.
• James S. Riepe, former vice chairman of T. Rowe Price Group Inc., has worked in investment management for more than 35 years and has played a leadership role in mutual fund industry affairs. Although retired, he remains as a senior advisor at T. Rowe Price.
He earned both an undergraduate degree and an M.B.A. at Penn’s Wharton School and is a tireless supporter of Penn. Riepe was the chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2009, helping to advance Penn as one of the world’s preeminent educational institutions. More than 45 Penn students are the beneficiaries of the James Riepe Trustee Scholarship and the Riepe Scholarship Fund, created with his wife, Gail Petty Riepe, also a Penn degree holder. Riepe is chair of the Penn Medicine Board and its Executive Committee.
Riepe will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.