Nine awarded honorary degrees
In addition to Brian Williams, commencement speaker and NBC Nightly News anchor, eight other distinguished individuals from education, engineering, law, philanthropy, science and the Church received honorary degrees this year. They were:
Steven J. Brickner (doctor of science). Among other achievements, the pharmaceutical chemist led the research team that discovered the drug Zyvox, the first oral therapy combating penicillin-resistant strains of staph and strep infections.
Scott Cowen (doctor of laws). The 14th president of Tulane University was honored for his leadership in rebuilding Tulane after Hurricane Katrina and for his efforts in the reconstruction of New Orleans’ public school system.
Archbishop Demetrios (doctor of laws). A former professor of biblical studies at the Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America is known for his homilies on faith, community, service and love.
Rev. Reginald Foster, OCD (doctor of laws). Known as the “pope’s Latinist,” the Carmelite priest was honored for his half century of work translating Church documents from other languages into Latin and for founding a free Latin academy.
MaryAnn Mathile (doctor of laws). One of the top philanthropists in the United States, the head of the Mathile Family Foundation was recognized for her work in support of children and families, primarily in the Dayton, Ohio, area.
Marc Maurer ’74 (doctor of laws). President of the National Federation of the Blind since 1986. Sightless since shortly after birth, the attorney worked in Ohio, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore before assuming the presidency of the NFB and expanding its services.
Ted McCourtney ’60 (doctor of engineering). A venture capitalist who also is a trustee emeritus of the University, McCourtney and his wife, Tracy, were benefactors of the College of Engineering’s new Stinson-Remick Hall.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (doctor of laws). The retired archbishop of Westminster and former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales was honored for his years of ministerial service, which emphasized ecumenism, the protection of human life and the rights of immigrants.