Honorary Degrees, Medals Awarded during 174th Commencement
will commemorate its 175th anniversary of its institutional charter during
the 174th Commencement Ceremonies May 25-28. Wesleyan’s charter was granted
on May 26, 1831.
John Hope Franklin, professor of history, emeritus at Duke University will
give the principal address at commencement and will be awarded an honorary
doctor of letters degree during the ceremony.
In addition, Wesleyan will award honorary doctors of letters to
Mary O. McWilliams '71, president of Regence BlueShield, pioneering alumna
and trustee emerita.
Franklin is an internationally-renowned historian, intellectual leader and
lifelong civil rights activist. He has served on the National Council on the
Humanities, as well as the President's Advisory Commissions on Public
Diplomacy and on Ambassadorial Appointments. Franklin's numerous
publications include The Emancipation Proclamation, The Militant
South, The Free Negro in North Carolina, Reconstruction After the
Civil War, and From Slavery to Freedom: A History of
African-Americans. Franklin has received honorary degrees from more than
100 colleges and universities.
McWilliams '71 previously served as president of PacifiCare of Washington
where she converted the provider network into groups, expanded statewide,
and launched Secure Horizons as a Medicare-Risk plan. She also served as
founding chief executive officer for the Sisters of Providence Health Plans
in Oregon. She received a bachelor's degree in American studies from
Wesleyan will also award the Baldwin Medal to Jean Shaw P‘79 and Biff Shaw
‘51, P’79. As an alumni leader, Biff Shaw’s diligent effort on behalf of
Wesleyan underscores his commitment to public service. Jean Shaw has served
Wesleyan since 1969 in many roles including director of the Center for the Arts,
coordinator for exhibitions, events manger and coordinator of University
Lectures. She has worked tirelessly to enrich
the relationship between Wesleyan and Middletown. She played a key
role as Reunion and Commencement coordinator and oversaw the joining of
Reunion and Commencement into one weekend.
commencement ceremony is scheduled to be held on Andrus Field, where seating
will be unlimited. President Doug Bennet invites all parent-educators to
participate in the academic procession.
“This initiative was introduced at the 1997 commencement and is becoming a
much-beloved tradition at Wesleyan,” Bennet says. “I look forward to
welcoming everyone to Wesleyan on this wonderful occasion.”
Academic regalia will be worn by all who participate in the procession and
can be ordered through the campus bookstore.
Office of the Dean of the College will contact graduating seniors with
information regarding graduation announcements and activities for Reunion
and Commencement Weekend.