Commencement '20: here in spirit

Recipients of teaching prizes

Shelly Kagan, the Clark Professor of Philosophy: the Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for teaching excellence in the humanities.
Brian Scassellati, the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Computer Science and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science: the Dylan Hixon ’88 Prize for teaching excellence in the natural sciences.
Claudia Valeggia, professor of anthropology: the Lex Hixon ’63 Prize for teaching excellence in the social sciences.

Camille Thomasson ’82, lecturer in film and media studies: the Richard H. Brodhead ’68 Prize for teaching excellence by a non-ladder faculty member.

Dana Angluin, professor of computer science: the Harwood F. Byrnes/Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize, given to a faculty member who over a long period of service has inspired a great number of students and consistently fostered learning both inside and outside the classroom.


Recipients of honorary degrees

Jim Allison, a Nobel Prize–winning cancer immunotherapy researcher whose "discoveries have transformed the science of cancer treatment” and whose degree was given “in honor of the futures [he has] made possible"Doctor of Medical Sciences.

Jerome Alan Cohen ’51, ’55jd,  a "pioneering scholar of Chinese law" who has “taught and mentored countless others,” a defender of human rights who has been "a courageous voice for those whose voices have been silenced”: Doctor of Laws.

Christiana Figueres,  former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose diplomacy "has brought people and nations together” to work for "the health and survival of future generations on this planet”: Doctor of Humane Letters.

Renée Fleming, a soprano who has shared her "extraordinary voice on the world’s greatest stages, thrilling audiences with [her] repertoire and range," and has championed "the importance of music for our health, minds, and communities”: Doctor of Music.

Herbie Hancock, "chameleon of modern jazz" and “musical icon,” a pianist and composer who has won 14 Grammy Awards through “experimenting with science and sound” and “breaking down barriers between genres”: Doctor of Music.

Michael I. Jordan, pioneer in artificial intelligence, who has harnessed "the power of human and machine learning to solve daunting problems" and has "made possible what was once only imagined":  Doctor of Engineering and Technology.

Ming Cho Lee, a “visionary artist” whose influence as a set designer “circles the globe”—and a Yale School of Drama professor emeritus who, “with insight and humility . . . inspired thousands of Yale students to create new vistas of art and meaning”: Doctor of Fine Arts.

Svante Pääbo, an evolutionary geneticist and one of the founders of the field of paleogenetics, who has “revealed secrets about the prehistoric world, discovered previously unknown species, and invented a new field of study”: Doctor of Science.
Paula Vogel, renowned playwright whose characters “connect with audiences and bring urgent issues out of the shadows,” and whose devotion to teaching “foster[s] the future of theater, helping young playwrights find their voices and refine their craft”: Doctor of Letters.


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