Oglethorpe to Award Three Honorary Degrees at May 7 Commencement

Researcher and author Dr. Richard Wrangham is a trustee of the Jane Goodall Institute and a former trustee of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

The Oglethorpe University 2011 commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 9:00 a.m., on the academic quadrangle of the OU campus. President Larry Schall will preside over the ceremony that will honor more than 250 graduating students.

This year, Oglethorpe will present honorary degrees to three distinguished members of the civic and academic worlds:

Award-winning poet Linda Bierds

–  Award-winning poet and University of Washington Professor of English Linda Bierds will receive a Doctor of Letters honorary degree.

The Honorable Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta, will receive a Doctor of Laws honorary degree.

Dr. Richard Wrangham, the Ruth Moore Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University, will receive a Doctor of Sciences honorary degree.

Each honorary degree recipient will address the Class of 2011. Past honorary degree recipients include such well-known names as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Woodrow Wilson, and Amelia Earhart.

Additional commencement ceremony details may be found at www.oglethorpe.edu/commencement.

LINDA BIERDS, professor of English and award-winning American poet, has taught English and writing at the University of Washington since 1989. She also attended the University of Washington, where she received her B.A. in 1969 and her M.A. in 1971. Her numerous books of poetry include First Hand (Putnam, 2005), The Seconds (2001), The Profile Makers (1997), The Ghost Trio (1994), which was named a Notable Book Selection by the American Library Association, Heart and Perimeter (1991), and The Stillness, the Dancing (1988). Bierds has received several Pushcart Prizes, as well as grants and awards from the Seattle Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, and the MacArthur Foundation.

MAYOR KASIM REED was inaugurated as the City of Atlanta’s 59th Mayor on January 4, 2010. Raised in Atlanta and educated in Fulton County’s public schools, Mayor Reed graduated from Howard University, where he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees. Mayor Reed was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1998 as State Representative for District 52. He was re-elected in 2000, winning 77% of all votes cast. In the House, he served two terms as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Education Committee and Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee. Since taking office, Mayor Reed has worked to improve public safety, create new opportunities for the City’s youth, restore fiscal stability to the City and provide faster and more efficient customer service to residents.

DR. RICHARD WRANGHAM is the Ruth Moore Professor of Anthropology at and Chair of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University, Curator of Primate Behavioral Biology at the Peabody Museum, and Director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project in Uganda. Dr. Wrangham completed his B.A. in Zoology at Oxford University and received his Ph.D. in Zoology from Cambridge University. He is the president of the International Primatological Society, a former trustee of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, current trustee of the Jane Goodall Institute, and Co-chair of the Great Ape World Heritage Species Project. He is the co-author of Demonic Males and co-author of Primate Societies, Chimpanzee Cultures, Science and Conservation in African Forests, and Sexual Coercion in Primates.

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