Four distinguished individuals to receive honorary degrees at commencement


Source: Margery Harnick

Sheldon Harnick. Three others will join Harnick in receiving honorary degrees at the June commencement ceremony.

Alan Perez, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern will award honorary degrees to four prominent individuals at this year’s commencement ceremony.

William Osborn, Subra Suresh and Sheldon Harnick will join Renée Fleming, who will deliver the commencement address, in receiving the award at the June 22 event, according to a news release.

Fleming, a world-renowned opera singer, has previously led a Bienen School of Music class of vocal performance students and served as the creative consultant for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Known as “The People’s Diva,” she also won four Grammys and was the first classical musician to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Osborn (Weinberg ’69, Kellogg ’73) will be recognized for his “exceptional leadership” as chair of the Board of Trustees and work with nonprofits in the Chicago area, according to the release. He also served various positions with the Board, including roles in the finance and executive committees. Additionally, he oversaw Northern Trust’s growth from a regional bank to a “global financial powerhouse,” according to the release.

Suresh, president of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, is a distinguished researcher in biotechnology’s intersection with material science and engineering. He has received several awards for his research and previously served as president of Carnegie Mellon University.

Harnick (Bienen ’49), an Army veteran, is “is one of the most honored lyricists in American musical theater,” the release said. Harnick has written for Northwestern’s Waa-Mu Show and for Broadway and Tony-nominated musicals.

Honorary degree recipients don’t complete the requirements for a traditional degree. A selection committee in the Office of the Provost selects recipients every year.

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