Honorees' Careers Noted In Citations

Honorary degree recipients Marian Heard, University President J. Donald Monan, SJ (seated), and William Bulger, Bill Cosby and T. Berry Brazleton (standing from left) pose with Board of Trustees Chairman Geoffrey T. Boisi just before proceeding to Alumni Stadium. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

James Donald Monan, SJ

A youthful first encounter with the Boston College seal and its motto of unswerving aspiration to excellence, adopted from the powerful poetry of Homer's Iliad, may have set the course for the monumental achievements of your tenure as this University's longest-serving president. Another advocate for the university ideal, John Henry Cardinal Newman, declared: "In the nature of things, greatness and unity go together; excellence implies a center." For 24 years you have been the center of this institution's transformation, devoting nearly half your life as a member of the Society of Jesus to her ascendance as a renowned national University. From a priceless legacy of liberal learning wedded to Ignatian spirituality, now tested and tempered in the crucible of the Information Age, you have forged for this institution and her noble enterprise a Golden Era. With gratitude beyond the capabilities of expression and in the name of all who love this University, Boston College signifies affection and admiration and proudly establishes kinship of degree by proclaiming her beloved and esteemed twenty-fourth president Doctor of Laws.

William H. Cosby Jr.

You started out as a child. A sixth-grade teacher's note on your report card observed that you were "an alert boy" whose interests inclined more to humor than to study. At the time, the teacher had no way of knowing that through your gifts and the burgeoning industry of television, you would shape a nation's understanding and its heart as few teachers in history. The gift for laughter evident in your childhood brought you to the pinnacle of stardom as the driving force of a television phenomenon. And it became your teaching tool for shattering stereotypes and transforming forever the way America views the black family. A self-styled "late bloomer" whose appreciation of the value of formal education was born after the first four days of Navy boot camp, you have earned this University's special regard for outstanding philanthropy and dedicated service to education's cause. Acknowledging fruitful lessons drawn from the example and superlative art of a late-bloomer-turned-master-teacher, Boston College praises a luminary and conscience of the television medium and esteemed patron of higher learning, upon whom she joyfully confers the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Thomas Berry Brazelton, MD

Preeminent pediatrician whose 25,000 patients have included three grandchildren of Dr. Benjamin Spock, you created the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale that has become a clinical and research tool used worldwide to assess not only the physical and neurological responses of newborns, but also their emotional well-being and individual differences. Your best-selling books - read, reread, and passed along with outgrown baby clothes by millions of devoted followers - have brought common sense, compassion and reassurance to the often lonely vocation of parenting. More recently, your concern about the neglect suffered by increasing numbers of children raised in poverty and about the problems stemming from pressures on working parents has expanded your orbit of influence to the political arena, where you promote such "family friendly" initiatives as guaranteed parental leave, flexible working arrangements and quality day care. Installing in the gallery of her honorary doctors a medical pioneer whose familiar fac e bears telltale traces of years spent smiling at babies, Boston College respectfully hails an accomplished scholar, a gifted teacher, an ardent champion for the family, and happily declares you Doctor of Laws.

William M. Bulger

Your origins may be found in a Boston neighborhood where politics was as lively a cottage industry as Aran Island knitting, and in the boy whom lifelong friend Congressman Joseph Moakley remembers as the "kid who went to the library when it wasn't even raining out." Alumnus of Boston College High School, Boston College and Boston College Law School, you developed and honed your intellectual skills under the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum , that distinctive curriculum wherein the liberal arts of pagan classicism and the rational sciences of Christian philosophy and theology were brilliantly combined. Gleaning from their original Greek sources such fundamental democratic values as the common good, civic virtue and the dignity of the individual, you were eminently prepared for the study of law and for the excellent statesmanship you practiced throughout a 34-year tenure in the Great and General Court and an historic 17-year term as maestro of the Senate chamber. As you invest the wealth of your experience as a scholar and a statesman in the office of the president of the University of Massachusetts, alma mater expresses approval and prayerful good wishes, declaring a distinguished and now thrice-claimed son Doctor of Laws.

Marian L. Heard

Social commentators propose that the occupants of executive offices constitute the virtual aristocracy of late 20th century America. This Jesuit University takes pleasure in acknowledging the nobility of a remarkably uncommon member of that elect estate. President and chief executive officer of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and chief executive officer of the United Ways of New England, you reaffirm the judgment of the board members who appointed the first woman ever to lead the organization to take the helm for the most challenging period in United Way's long experience. Earning high marks for performance and praise for your vision and energy as the respected leader of a complex and innovative charity network, you have sharpened priorities, restructured and streamlined operations, restored public confidence through rigorous accountability, and captured the endorsement and involvement of the corporate power structure. Paying homage to the diminutive chief executive who is a formidable presence in Boston and a towering representative of Jesuit education's ideal of "the person for others," Boston College gladly confers upon you the degree of Doctor of Public Administration.

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