Vartan Gregorian Awarded Honorary Degree

The University of South Carolina welcomed Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, to its Columbia campus on May 5th for commencement ceremonies and to receive an honorary doctoral degree—the university’s highest recognition. 

Vartan Gregorian waves to the audience after receiving an honorary doctoral degree at the University of South Carolina commencement exercises

Vartan Gregorian waves to the audience after receiving an honorary doctoral degree at the University of South Carolina commencement exercises where he shared the stage with J. Cantey Heath, Jr., Secretary to the Board of Trustees and University Secretary; and The Hon. John C. von Lehe, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees. (Photo: USC/Jason Ayer)

The Doctor of Letters was conferred by Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina; Joan T.A. Gable, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; The Honorable John C. von Lehe, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees; and J. Cantey Heath, Jr., Secretary to the Board of Trustees and University Secretary. The citation recognized Gregorian “for his excellence as a faculty member and administrator in higher education; for his commitment to scholarship and learning at the highest levels; and for his service in support of important civic, artistic and humanitarian organizations.”

Gregorian is a past president of both Brown University and The New York Public Library. He was also the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and also served as that institution’s provost.

Other honorees included His Excellency António Manuel De Oliveira Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, who received an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service; J. Michael Luttig, former U.S. Circuit Court judge and executive vice president and general counsel of The Boeing Company, who received a Doctor of Laws; and Barry Bryan Zegel, an award-winning television executive with CBS, who received an honorary degree of Doctor of Mass Communication.

Vartan Gregorian with a signed print of the University of South Carolina's historic Horseshoe green

During a celebratory dinner, university president Harris Pastides, undergraduate student Emily Dunn, and student government association president Ross Lordo, join Vartan Gregorian for a photo featuring a signed print of the university’s historic Horseshoe green. (Photo: USC/Jason Ayer)

At a celebratory dinner, President Pastides invoked the University of South Carolina mascot while toasting Gregorian as “a distinguished scholar, a world class librarian, a successful Ivy League president, an extraordinary human rights advocate, an exemplary American, and today, an honorary Gamecock!”

Overall, more than 6,800 students graduated from the Columbia campus this May, and nearly 8,500 from the University of South Carolina system.

Watch the ceremony via Facebook (conferring of degree at 31:00).