Exercises Author: NEERAJA SANKARAN, pp.1
Date: June 27,1994
Dozens of distinguished science figures have been among the luminaries receiving honorary degrees and offering their words of wisdom to graduating students throughout North America over the past two months. Scientists so honored include Francis S. Collins, director of the National Center for Human Genome Research; Frank Press, former president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS); and Walter Massey, past director of the National Science Foundation--as well as Nobel laureates Kary Mullis and Michael Smith.
Unlike the students, who donned their caps and gowns to receive formal acknowledgment of their academic accomplishments, these individuals were feted for achievement in their chosen professional fields. Although a somewhat controversial issue (B. Spector, The Scientist, June 24, 1991, page 1), the practice of granting honorary degrees is a time-honored tradition in many schools, and the awardees have been effusive in expressing their gratitude.