Four honorary degrees at spring commencement; Bollinger to speak

April 18, 1997

ANN ARBOR—Four persons—Mary Frances Berry, scholar and public servant; Robert B. Fiske Jr., trial lawyer and public servant; Sergei Godunov, mathematician from Russia; and Eugene L. Roberts Jr., newspaper editor—will receive honorary degrees at the University of Michigan’s spring commencement May 3. U-M President Lee C. Bollinger will give the main speech.

The graduation ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Michigan Stadium.

Mary Frances Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1980, she was appointed by President Carter and confirmed by the Senate as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 1933, President Clinton designated her chairperson of the Civil Rights Commission.

She was assistant secretary for education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter administration. She also served as a provost at the University of Maryland, College Park, and as chancellor at the University of Colorado. She will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the U-M.

Robert B. Fiske Jr., who will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the U-M, is a litigation partner in the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. In 1957-61, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York where he served as Assistant Chief of the Criminal Division and head of the Special Prosecutions Unit on Organized Crime.

He was appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York by President Ford in 1976. From Jan. 24, 1994, until Oct. 6, 1994, Fiske served as Independent Counsel appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno to conduct the Whitewater/Madison Guaranty investigation.

Sergei Godunov, who will receive an honorary doctor of science degree from the U-M, is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and department head at the Sobolev Institute of Mathematics in Novosibirsk, Russia. He is one of the founders of the field of computational fluid dynamics and the modern theory of conservation laws.

Godunov was the first to recognize that computational methods must pay attention to the physics in order to produce meaningful results. He introduced into computational science a completely new style of thinking. Most computer codes used today for simulating compressible flow are derived from Godunov’s work. He has been active in the growing cooperation between Russian and American scientists, especially in the fields of computational mathematics and aerospace engineering.

Eugene L. Roberts Jr., who will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the U-M, was named managing editor of the New York Times in 1994. A former national editor, he rejoined the Times for a three-year period, after having been a professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism since 1991.

From 1972 to 1990, Roberts was executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He also held executive positions with the Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., including vice president and director, senior vice president, and president. Before that, he worked at the Times in 1965-72 as chief Southern and civil rights correspondent, chief war correspondent in South Vietnam, and national editor. He also was a reporter and editor with the Detroit Free Press and other newspapers.

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