UMass Amherst to Award Eight Honorary Degrees at Commencement Ceremonies May 22-23

AMHERST, Mass. - Eight individuals will receive honorary degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Commencement ceremonies May 22-23.

The honorary degree recipients follow:

* Rudolph F. Crew, University alumnus and chancellor of the Board of Education of the City of New York; doctor of humane letters.

* Mary Maples Dunn, director of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College; doctor of humane letters.

* John P. Flavin, businessman, entrepreneur, and University alumnus who is national chairman of Campaign UMass; doctor of humane letters.

* Vladimir Haensel, professor emeritus of chemical engineering and winner of the 1997 Charles Stark Draper Prize; doctor of engineering.

* Shirley Ann Jackson, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who will become president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in July; doctor of science.

* Wynton Marsalis, jazz musician and recording artist; doctor of fine arts.

* Diana Chapman Walsh, president of Wellesley College; doctor of humane letters.

* Ervin H. Zube, professor emeritus and former head of the University’s department of landscape architecture and regional planning; doctor of humane letters.

Dunn, Haensel, and Zube will receive their honorary degrees during the graduate Commencement Sat. May 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the William D. Mullins Memorial Center. Honorary degrees will be conferred on Crew, Flavin, Jackson, Marsalis, and Walsh during undergraduate ceremonies Sun. May 23 at 10:30 a.m. in Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Crew will deliver the main address at that event.


Nationally recognized for his work in implementing urban education reforms, Rudolph F. Crew has served as chancellor of the New York City public schools since 1995. He received two graduate degrees from the University: an M.Ed. in urban education in 1972 and an Ed.D. in educational administration in 1978. Prior to his current position, he was superintendent of school systems in California and Washington, and has held numerous other administrative posts during his career in education. He is a leading proponent of performance-driven public education, which focuses on increasing the academic development of students through an emphasis on literacy, school-based responsibility, and parental involvement.

Mary Maples Dunn was president of Smith College for 10 years before assuming her current position in 1995 as Pforzheimer Foundation director of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, a major collection of materials pertaining to American social history. A distinguished historian and archivist, Dunn received her bachelor’s degree from William and Mary College and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Bryn Mawr College. She was a member of the history faculty at Bryn Mawr from 1959-80 and served as Dean of the College from 1980-85. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, she is the author of two books on William Penn, "William Penn: Politics and Conscience," and "The World of William Penn," editor of Alexander von Humboldt’s "Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain," and co-editor with her husband of four volumes of the "Papers of William Penn."

An entrepreneur and philanthropist who lives in Dallas, Texas, John P. Flavin is the national chair of Campaign UMass, the campus’s comprehensive campaign to raise funds, engage advocates, and enhance the University’s image. Under Flavin’s leadership, Campaign UMass has currently raised more than half its $125-million goal. A 1959 graduate of the Isenberg School of Management, Flavin has made several major gifts to the school, in part to memorialize his brother Joseph B. Flavin Jr., who also graduated from the school of management in 1953. Besides establishing the Flavin Chair in Entrepreneuership, he also established the Flavin Fellowship Program, which encourages promising students from the school’s master’s degree program, and he established the Flavin Fund, which enables the school to undertake service projects in area schools, such as curriculum development workshops for faculty and outreach programs to encourage high school students to go to college. During his career Flavin established several businesses then sold them, including Score Cards, a baseball card company that was part of the contemporary explosion of interest in baseball cards.

Vladimir Haensel, emeritus professor of chemical engineering at UMass, is the recipient of the 1997 Charles Stark Draper Prize. Presented by the National Academy of Engineering, the Draper prize is regarded as the engineering profession’s highest honor. Haensel is the inventor of "Platforming," a revolutionary chemical engineering process essential in producing clean fuel for transportation and in supplying material to the modern plastics industry. The technique is widely considered to be one of the most significant in chemical engineering within the past 50 years. Born in Germany, Haensel spent his early youth in Moscow, Russia, and emigrated to the U.S. at age 16. Educated at Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Haensel joined the faculty at UMass in 1980, at age 66, following 42 years in industry. He retired in 1998. Haensel has won a slate of prestigious awards, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and was the first recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society.

Shirley Ann Jackson has chaired the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) since 1995 and will become president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in July. A theoretical physicist, Jackson is the first African American woman to receive a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in any subject; the first African American to become a commissioner of the NRC; and the first woman and African American to serve as NRC chair. Jackson has also worked as a university professor of physics, a consultant, a corporate director, and a research scientist at AT&T Bell Labs. Jackson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998 for her contributions as a distinguished scientist and advocate for education, science, and public policy.

The winner of eight Grammy Awards, Wynton Marsalis is the only jazz musician ever to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music. He won that honor in 1997 for his opera, "Blood on the Fields," an epic oratorio on slavery. In 1984, he won Grammies both for best jazz soloist and best classical soloist. Marsalis was born in New Orleans in 1961 into a family steeped in the jazz tradition and a love for all music. He began studying trumpet at the age of 12. During high school, he performed in local marching bands, jazz bands, funk bands, and classical orchestras, and at the age of 18 he moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School. In 1980, Marsalis began playing with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers; he signed with Columbia Records that same year. Since 1982, his jazz and classical recordings for Columbia and Sony Classical have sold nearly eight million copies worldwide. Marsalis also serves as the artistic director for the internationally recognized Jazz at Lincoln Center Program, which he co-founded in 1987.

Diana Chapman Walsh became the 12th president of Wellesley College in 1993. A leading expert in public health policy and the prevention of illness, Walsh was previously Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she chaired the department of health and social behavior. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, she was University Professor and professor of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Public Health at Boston University. She was also associate director of Boston University’s Health Policy Institute. Walsh has written, edited, and co-edited 14 books, including "Women, Work and Health: Challenges to Corporate Policy," and "Corporate Physicians: Between Medicine and Management," and a series of books titled, "Industry and Health Care." As a Kellogg National Fellow from 1987-90, she traveled throughout the United States and abroad studying workplace democracy and principles of leadership, as well as writing poetry.

Ervin H. Zube chaired the department of landscape architecture and regional planning at UMass from 1965-72, during which time he expanded the department to include regional planning, developed a broader curriculum, doubled the size of the faculty, and recruited a number of distinguished scholars to the University. He later was director of The Environmental Institute at UMass for five years. Zube and his wife, Margaret, who holds two graduate degrees in anthropology from UMass, recently pledged a bequest to support graduate student fellowships in the department. Earlier they established a fund to support a departmental lecture series. Zube has also served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Arizona, where he was director of the School of Renewable Natural Resources. Zube has authored, edited, co-authored or co-edited more than 150 publications. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy.