Three honorary degrees to be awarded at spring commencement

April 7, 1995

ANN ARBOR—Three persons—Rudolf Arnheim, professor emeritus of the psychology of art at Harvard University, William G. Bowen, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund—will be recommended to receive honorary degrees at the University of Michigan commencement exercises April 28-29.

The U-M Board of Regents will act on the recommendations at its April meeting.

Edelman will give the main speech at the Spring Commencement for all undergraduates on April 29 in Michigan Stadium. Honorary degrees will be conferred at this event. Jennifer D. Fox will make remarks on behalf of the students.

Bowen will be the main speaker at the University Graduate Exercises in Hill Auditorium on April 28. Doctoral candidates and Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies master’s degree candidates will be honored at the ceremony.

The U-M’s schools and colleges also will hold their own recognition ceremonies for their graduating students. Altogether, some 6,000 students on the Ann Arbor campus expect their degrees this spring.

Rudolf Arnheim, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters, immigrated to the United States in 1940 from Germany. He became a member of the psychology faculty at Sara Lawrence College in 1943. He was professor of the psychology of art in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard, 1968-74. He taught at the U-M as a visiting professor in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, 1974-84.

William Bowen, who will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, has headed the Mellon Foundation since 1988. Before that he was president of Princeton University, 1972- 88. He began teaching economics at Princeton in 1958, was director of graduate studies at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and served as provost of Princeton, 1967-72.

Marian Edelman, who will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, began her career in the 1960s when, as the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). She served as director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University, and in 1973 began CDF.