National Institute on Aging

Honorary Degree Awards Given to Blacks in 2011 by the Nation’s Leading Liberal Arts Colleges

Last week JBHE listed the 22 honorary degrees given to blacks by the nation’s top research universities. Now we turn our attention to the high-ranking liberal arts colleges.

The nation’s leading liberal arts colleges gave out 12 honorary degrees to blacks during this spring’s commencement season. Oberlin College was the only member of this group to give awards to two African Americans.

Here is a list of the honorands at the top liberal arts colleges:

Amherst College

Kimmie Weeks, a native of Liberia, founded Youth Action International to support the needs of families living in post war countries in Africa.

Bates College

Evelynn M. Hammonds is dean of Harvard College.

Colby College

Adelaide M. Cromwell is a professor emerita of sociology at Boston University and founding director of its Afro-American studies program.

Colgate University

Maria A. Scates is founder and CEO of Johnson Park Center in Utica, New York, which offers safe and supportive housing for homeless families.

Haverford College

Dikembe Mutombo, former star in the National Basketball Association, has led many humanitarian efforts in Africa.

Lafayette College

Gwendolyn L. Ifill is managing editor and moderator for Washington Week and senior correspondent for The NewsHour on the Public Broadcasting System.

Middlebury College

Maxine Atkins Smith is a 47-year member and former executive secretary of the Memphis chapter of the NAACP.

Oberlin College

Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization with anti-poverty programs in nearly 70 countries.

Bernice Johnson Reagon is professor emeritus of history at American University and curator emeritus at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Smith College

Carrie Mae Weems is a photographer and filmmaker.

Trinity College

Michael Battle is the United States Ambassador to the African Union.

Williams College

Cory A. Booker is mayor of Newark, New Jersey.


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