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Posted 04.04.08

2008 Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

An award-winning writer, a college president known for his expertise in the economics of higher education, and a critically acclaimed photographer will be honored at Wesleyan University's 176th commencement ceremonies this year.

Jamaica Kincaid, Morton Schapiro and Philip Trager of Wesleyan's Class of 1956 will receive honorary doctorate degrees from Wesleyan on May 25, 2008.

"We are delighted that these talented and accomplished individuals have agreed to honor us by participating in our commencement," said Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. "Each exemplifies the qualities of courage and engagement, discernment and discipline that are essential to innovation and to leadership in all areas of human endeavor. They inspire all of us to make the most of the opportunities we have been given, in the best and truest spirit of liberal education."

Born on the island of Antigua, author Jamaica Kincaid has been called the most important West Indian writer today. Her works include a collection of essays, A Small Place, which describes how conditions in Antigua worsened after independence in 1967, the novels The Autobiography of My Mother, Annie John, and Lucy, and the short story collection At the Bottom of the River. Kincaid gave the Annie Sonnenblick Lecture at Wesleyan in 2001.

Morton Schapiro, president of Williams College since 2000, is an economist who has taught at Williams and at the University of Southern California. Author of more than 50 articles and six books, he is among the nation's premier authorities on the economics of higher education, with particular expertise in college financing and affordability, and on trends in educational costs.

Philip Trager ’56 is an internationally known photographer whose images are held by major collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliothéque in Paris. He is particularly known for his work in dance and architecture. Wesleyan holds a collection of his work, including images of the campus.

U.S. Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-Mass), was scheduled to address the graduating seniors. However, in his absence, Senator Senator Barack Obama (D-Il), will address the graduating seniors this year.