Five Distinguished Individuals Awarded Honorary Degrees
May 22, 2005
May 22, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - [Download Video: "Timothy C. Collins '78" - 976kb] "From DePauw I received many things: a first-rate education with genuine analytical rigor," said Timothy C. Collins, senior managing director and chief executive officer of Ripplewood Holdings LLC as he accepted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree this afternoon. Collins, a 1978 graduate of DePauw, was one of five distinguished individuals who were awarded honorary degrees at the University's 166th Annual Commencement on East College lawn. "I left DePauw with an enduring hunger for truth. Studying philosophy here with great and caring teachers was an innoculation against intellectual complacency."
"Ripplewood has largely made its name abroad, scoring some huge wins in the Japanese banking and telecommunications sectors," noted the Wall Street Journal on Friday, when a group led by Ripplewood announced plans to acquire Maytag.
"Having exceedingly healthy contempt for conventional wisdom has served me very well," Collins said this afternoon, "and I've never been afraid to question. When I started investing in Japan, the conventional wisdom was unanimous: foreigners can't control Japanese businesses. I asked why, never got a satisfactory answer, and thank the Lord for that." He added, "You can't be grateful without feeling its analog: responsibility. We owe much to each other and I owe much to DePauw."
[Download Video: "Judith Ann Edstrom '70" - 8837kb]"I would like to think that in acknowledging my work, DePauw University is affirming the very important role that all of us play, and no more so than the generation represented by this graduating class, to work for peace and prosperity in our globalized world," said Judith Ann Edstrom, who received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. A 1970 graduate of DePauw, Edstrom has served in leadership roles within the World Bank and UNICEF for over a quarter century, including a term as World Bank's Chief of Mission in South Africa.
"As Americans, our welfare is inextricably linked to people in other parts of the world, be they rich or poor," she stated. "We ignore their perspective and their aspirations at our peril. I thank DePauw for helping to stimulate this awareness in me, both through the excellent caliber of its faculty -- my favorite professor, is now here today, I believe -- and through DePauw's very strong encouragement of study abroad programs." Edstrom says her junior year experience in Geneva broadened her horizons and began her on the path she's followed since graduation.
[Download Video: "Charles A. Leis '52" - 5489kb] "Set realistic goals for yourself, always keep your eye on the goal, apply your efforts with honesty and integrity, and take each new day as it comes along," said Charles A. Leis, chief executive officer of A.F. Leis Co., Inc. and 1952 graduate of DePauw.
The recipient of an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree, Leis told graduates, "Remember, there are only two ways to greet each new day: it is going to be either good morning God, or good God, morning. The choice is yours."
[Download Video: "Raymond Leppard" - 11,994kb] "I've only recently taken American citizenship, and I'm very proud of it," said Raymond Leppard, who received an honorary Doctor of Music degree. Leppard's lengthy resume includes a fourteen-year tenure as music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (he now serves as conductor laureate of ISO) and a long association with the English Chamber Orchestra.
He stated, "Having lived here for quite some years, I've come greatly to admire the American values I've observed in that time. But lately, I've discerned a narrowing of the intellectual thrust and vision, encouraging an unworthy bigotry and intolerance in some areas that are, properly, the concern of universities. I wouldn't begin to specify them; they are for you to define and become aware of. Perhaps the only thing I can evolve for you out of my concern for the narrowing and my experience in music lies in the title of a great Bach cantata -- Wachet auf -- be watchful.And, of course, enjoy the vigil. For I tell you, as I approach the far end of it, life has a wonderful habit of getting better and better."
Eric Schlosser, investigative journalist and author of the best-seller Fast Food Nation, received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree, and provided the keynote address to graduates. [Download Video: "Never Hesitate" - 677kb] [Download Audio: 178kb] "I hope all of you will never hesitate to speak out," Schlosser told the 516 graduates. "And I hope you will always fight for the right of others to speak out, even if you don't like them and even if you don't like their views."
Read more on Schlosser's address by clicking here.
A DVD of 2005's Commencement will be produced. Learn more about the disc and order copies by clicking here.Back