Clegg, Lynge, Roth, Fox to be honored this year
By Hannah Wang, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Saturday, June 9, 2012
Dartmouth will award honorary degrees to five leaders in fields ranging from music to human rights activism during Sunday’s Commencement ceremony.
Commencement speaker Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, will be honored for her work providing educational opportunities children from under-resourced communities. South African musician Johnny Clegg, human rights activist Aqqaluk Lynge, Chairman of the Board of Vornado Realty Trust Steven Roth ’62 Tu’63 and Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego Marye Anne Fox GR’74 will also receive honorary degrees. Roth and Fox are members of the Board of Trustees.
Kopp is a Princeton University graduate who started TFA after proposing the creation of the organization in the senior thesis she wrote as an undergraduate.
Over two decades since its creation, the nonprofit organization consists of approximately 9,000 corps members who have taught roughly 600,000 students during the 2011-2012 school year. Kopp is also the CEO and co-founder of Teach for All, which extends the mission of Teach for America to other countries.
Clegg is an award-winning South African singer, songwriter, anthropologist and cultural activist. He received the Order of Ikhamanga, one of the highest honors granted by the South African government to its citizens, for his “achievement in the field of bridging African traditional music with other music forms” and his work to promote racial understanding, according to his personal website.
Clegg has campaigned against apartheid and worked as a cultural ambassador to promote the “new South Africa” to the world. He was knighted in France, where the people call him “Le Zulu Blanc,” or “the white Zulu.” Clegg has sold over five million albums and performed in Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS Awareness Concerts.
Lynge is a noted human rights activist, politician and writer, as well as the chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, a non governmental organization designed to serve the Inuit population. He formerly served as a member of the Parliament of Greenland and is the co-founder of Greenland’s socialist party, Inuit Ataqatigiit.
As a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Lynge has actively promoted the rights of indigenous Inuits and was instrumental in bringing the Russian Inuits into the ICC. He has played a role in spreading awareness of Arctic issues to the Dartmouth community, serving as a Dickey Fellow in 2008 and participating in the Dartmouth-Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference on climate change and arctic security in 2009.
Roth is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, a real estate investment firm that owns over 100 million square feet of property primarily in New York and Washington, D.C. He is one of the 400 richest people in America, with a net worth of $1.05 billion, according to Forbes.
Roth was the main donor for the Roth Center for Jewish Life and served on the Board of Overseers for Tuck Business School from 1981 to 1987. He was named one of the world’s most respected CEOs by Barrons Magazine in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
After receiving a PhD in chemistry from Dartmouth, Fox taught chemistry at the university level and continued to teach after becoming an administrator at the University of Texas at Austin and North Carolina State University.
At NCSU, she served as the first female chief executive as the university’s 12th chancellor until 2004, when she accepted the position of chancellor at UCSD. She will step down from her position this month to pursue academic interests.
Fox has won numerous awards both in teaching and research, including the National Medal of Science in 2010.
Kopp, Clegg, Lynge and Roth will receive Doctor of Humane Letters, while Fox will receive an honorary Doctor of Science on Sunday.
Honorary degree recipients are nominated and selected by the College’s Committee on Honorary Degrees. Recipient candidates must have “attained intellectual distinction at national and international levels, reached professional achievement of the highest order, or made contributions of genuine significance in areas of public service or Dartmouth College involvement,” according to the Office of Alumni Relations’ website.
Tianchi Xu ’12 said he is happy with the diversity of the honorary degree recipients for this year’s Commencement.
“I think it is important that the College recognizes leaders from a variety of fields,” he said.