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Week of 14 May 1999

Vol. II, No. 34

Feature Article

BU's 1999 honorary degree recipients

James F. Carlin, Doctor of Laws
James F. Carlin -- who since 1968 has been the chairman and chief executive officer of Carlin Consolidated, Inc., an investment and management firm -- has applied many of his skills from the private sector to his work for the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

He was the Massachusetts commissioner of commerce from 1979 to 1981 and secretary of transportation and chairman of the MBTA from 1981 to 1983. Appointed receiver for the city of Chelsea, Carlin worked to restore the city's decaying fiscal base, and with the Boston University/Chelsea Partnership, its school system. Governor William Weld appointed him chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education in 1995, and in that position he has been committed to providing affordable, high-quality education, especially in the state and community college system.

Carlin earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of Florida in 1961. He serves as director of several organizations and businesses and received the Paul Tsongas Award for Outstanding Public Service in 1988 and Inc.'s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1990.

Geena Davis, Doctor of Fine Arts
One of today's most sought-after actresses, Geena Davis received an Academy Award in 1988 as best supporting actress for The Accidental Tourist. Her newest film, an adaptation of Stuart Little, is due to be released later this year.

After beginning her studies at New England College in New Hampshire, Davis transferred to the School for the Arts at BU. She acted in student productions and helped pay for college by working as a projectionist for BU's Media Services and as a saleswoman at Ann Taylor on Boylston Street.

Davis began her Hollywood career in Tootsie with Dustin Hoffman, which brought her starring roles in the television series Buffalo Bill and Sara. Her enthusiastically acclaimed films include Thelma and Louise (which brought her another Oscar nomination), A League of Their Own, and most recently, The Long Kiss Goodnight. Davis has established her own production company, Genial Pictures.

SFA honored Davis last year with its Theatre Arts Division Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond II, Doctor of Humane Letters
Ray Hammond is the founder and pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, where he has continued his long history of work with youth and the community.

Hammond earned an A.B. in Near Eastern languages and literature from Harvard in 1971 and went on to earn his M.D. from the Harvard Medical School. He worked as an emergency room physician at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis from 1978 until 1993. He earned an M.A. in religion from Harvard in 1982.

Hammond is chairman of the Ten Point Coalition, an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders working to mobilize the Christian community around issues affecting black youth. He also holds leadership positions in numerous other community and church programs, including the Black Ministerial Alliance, the Boston Plan for Excellence, the Minuteman Council of the Boy Scouts, and Catholic Charities of Boston.

Stephen J. Trachtenberg, Doctor of Humane Letters
Stephen J. Trachtenberg -- who in two books has expressed incisive and forceful analyses of what needs to be done to deal with the challenges of higher education at the end of the century -- has served as president of George Washington University since 1988. For the previous 11 years he had been president of the University of Hartford.

Trachtenberg began his career as an attorney with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, later serving as a legislative assistant to Congressman John Brademas and as a special assistant to the U.S. Education Commissioner in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now HHS). He came to Boston University in 1969 initially as associate professor of political science, became associate dean and then academic dean of CAS, associate vice president and cocounsel, and finally vice president for academic services.

Trachtenberg holds a B.A. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Yale, and a master of public administration degree from Harvard. He has been given several honorary degrees and awards.