Journalism Excellence, Philanthropic Generosity, Literary Scholarship and Human Rights Activism Recognized at Lawrence University’s 155th Commencement

For the 25th — and final — time, Lawrence University President Richard Warch will lead the procession of seniors and honored guests to the stage where he’ll award honorary doctorates, confer bachelor’s degrees and congratulate students for completing their undergraduate education Sunday, June 13 during the college’s 155th commencement. Graduation ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Hall green.

Warch will retire as Lawrence’s second-longest serving president at the end of the month. He is currently the longest-standing president of any college or university in Wisconsin and believed to be one of only 20 current presidents in the country who have served their present institutions for 20 years or more.

An expected 303 seniors, Lawrence’s largest graduating class since 1977, will receive bachelor of arts and/or music degrees. In addition, Lawrence will award honorary doctorate degrees to John Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Fanton, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Stanley Fish, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago and Samantha Power, lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Also, Professor of Music Robert Levy, who is retiring after 25 years as director of bands at Lawrence, will receive professor emeritus status and awarded an honorary master of arts degree, ad eundem.

A baccalaureate service, featuring Daniel Taylor, Hiram A. Jones Professor of Classics delivering the address “Making Connections,” will be held Saturday, June 12 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

All four honorary doctorate degree recipients, along with President Warch, Lawrence Board of Trustees Chair Jeffrey Riester and student representative Andrea Hendrickson, a senior from Tillamook, Ore., will address the graduates during commencement. Both the baccalaureate service and commencement ceremony are free and open to the public.

Carroll, whose distinguished journalism career spans more than 40 years and includes seven Pulitzer Prizes, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Named editor of the Los Angeles Times in 2001, he helped the paper earn five Pulitzers earlier this year, the second most ever won by a newspaper in a single year. The New York Times was awarded seven Pulitzer’s in 2002 for its coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After beginning his career as a reporter for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island, Carroll was drafted into the Army and served in Alaska, writing for the base’s newspaper. He joined the Baltimore Sun as a reporter in the late 1960s, covering the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration. He became the subject of a front page story in The New York Times after having his press credentials suspended for writing a story detailing U.S. plans to abandon Khe Sanh. Without his knowledge, the Army had imposed an embargo on news coverage of Khe Sanh. Following protests from media colleagues and a Congressional investigation, the Army restored Carroll’s credentials.

He spent seven years as a city editor and metropolitan editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer before being named editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky. Carroll returned to the Baltimore Sun as its editor in 1991, guiding it to Pulitzer Prizes in 1997 and ‘98 before taking editorial leadership of the Los Angeles Times.

Fanton, who will receive a honorary doctor of laws degree, has served as president of the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation since September 1, 1999. With assets of nearly $4.3 billion, MacArthur is one of the nation’s 15 largest foundations and annually awards grants domestically and internationally of more than $180 million in support of public education, community development, system reform in mental health and juvenile justice, human rights, biodiversity preservation, reproductive health and international peace and security. It also supports public radio and television and the making of independent documentaries as well as support for exceptionally creative individuals through its famed “genius grant” Fellows program.

Before joining the MacArthur Foundation, Fanton served as president of New York City’s New School University (formerly known as New School for Social Research) from 1982-99. As president, he led the integration and enhancement of the seven divisions of the university, the expansion of the Greenwich Village campus and development campaigns that increased the university’s endowment from $8 million to more than $80 million.

During his presidency, the New School merged with the Mannes College of Music, established a drama school in partnership with the Actor’s Studio, merged with the World Policy Institute, added a jazz and contemporary music program, a teacher education program, a creative writing program and an architecture department at Parsons School of Design.

Fanton began his career teaching American history at his alma mater, Yale University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. He served as a special assistant to Yale President Kingman Brewster from 1970-73 and as associate provost from 1976-78. He then moved to the University of Chicago, where he spent the next four years as vice president for planning and also taught American history.

A board member of Human Rights Watch, the largest U.S.-based human rights organization and the Chicago Historical Society, Fanton is the author of “The University and Civil Society, Volumes I and II” and co-edited the books “John Brown: Great Lives Observed” and “The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age.”

Fish will receive a doctor of humane letters. Considered one of America’s most distinguished scholars of English literature, law and literary theory, particularly the subjectivity of textual interpretation, he has served as a dean and distinguished professor of English, criminal justice and political science at UIC since 1999.

During an academic career spanning more than 40 years, Fish has held numerous major positions, including the Kenan Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University (1974-85) and the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English and Law at Duke University (1985-98). A USA Today article described Fish as “an erudite scholar who capably makes difficult subjects understandable… a brilliant original critic of the culture at large.”

Fish as written nearly a dozen books, among them “John Skelton’s Poetry,” “Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost,” the second edition of which received the Hanford Book Award in 1998, “Self-Consuming Artifacts,” which was nominated for a the National Book Award in 1972 and “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too,” which earned the 1994 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award. In the past 30 years, more than 200 articles, books, dissertations and review articles have been devoted to his work.

Fish is a frequent guest on shows ranging from the “MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour” to CNN’s “Firing Line” to “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” In 2003, the Chicago Tribune named him its “Chicagoan of the Year” for culture.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Fish earned his Ph.D. from Yale University and began his teaching career in the English department at the University of California-Berkeley.

Power, a human-rights activist, lawyer, scholar and award-winning author, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Her recent book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” which examines U.S. responses to genocide in the 20th century, was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general non-fiction and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in U.S. foreign policy.

She also co-edited the 2000 book, “Realizing Human Rights: Moving from Inspiration to Impact,” a collection of essays by leading activists, policy makers and critics who reflect upon 50 years of attempts to improve respect for human rights.

In 1998, she founded Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, which trains future leaders for careers in public service with a focus on the most dangerous human rights challenges, including genocide, mass atrocity, state failure and the ethics and politics of military intervention. She served as the Carr Center’s executive director until 2002.

A native of Ireland who moved to the United States when she was nine, Power covered the war in the former Yugoslavia from 1993-96 as a reporter for U.S. News & World Report, the Boston Globe and the London-based news magazine The Economist. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, she is currently working on a book on the causes and consequences of historical amnesia in American foreign policy.