year's honorary degree recipients
Michael E. Haynes
Doctor of Humane Letters
"Your pulpit at Twelfth Baptist Church is among the nation's most
storied. From its lectern rose the voices of freedom's staunch defenders:
Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
But for 37 years on nearly every Sunday, your words -- sometimes stern,
sometimes lyrical, but always filled with ebullient hope -- have called
your congregation to the life sublime." -- From honorary degree citation
As senior minister of Roxbury's Twelfth Baptist Church, the Reverend
Michael E. Haynes has for five decades dedicated himself to saving souls
and inspiring young people to pull themselves out of poverty. An evangelist
known for his social consciousness as well as for his fiery sermons, he
has served as a bridge between evangelical Christians and more liberal
church groups around the nation, often traveling to discuss with fellow
clergy the hardships faced by people in other nations and leading international
pilgrimages and study tours.
Haynes, 75, began his career counseling troubled teenagers at several
Boston-area community centers beginning in the 1950s. "Haynes pulled
at-risk men from the streets and became an integral part of their lives,"
the Boston Globe wrote in a 1992 profile. "They are now surgeons,
presidents of school boards, high school principals, journalists, policemen,
lawyers, political aides, FBI agents, former UN officials, bankers. They
are everything young black men growing up in Roxbury are not expected
to become. But Haynes worked a magic."
A Roxbury native and a graduate of Boston English High School, Haynes
earned a bachelor of arts in theology in 1949 from the New England School
of Theology in Brookline, Mass. He then attended Shelton College in New
York City, earning a graduate degree in mission and clinical services
in 1950. For the next three years, he studied at the Gordon-Conwell Theological
Seminary in Hamilton, Mass.
He joined the clergy of the Twelfth Baptist Church in 1951, serving as
youth minister, associate minister, and from 1964 to the present, as senior
minister. The 850-member parish is known for its youth programs, including
an eight-week summer day camp. It also features a food pantry and offers
for rent 14 units of affordable housing in Roxbury that it purchased and
rehabbed more than two decades ago.
For three terms, beginning in 1965, Haynes represented Roxbury and the
South End as a Democratic state representative, pushing to reduce crime
and violence. He also served on the Massachusetts Parole Board from 1969
In addition, Haynes has been a member of the city of Boston Mayor's Committee
on Violence and the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Drug Addiction.
He currently serves on the board of directors of the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, and Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. His honors include
the Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society Award for Distinguished Achievement
in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, the Cambridge Branch
NAACP Award, and several honorary degrees.
Haynes has two sons, Randy and Abdi, and is a grandfather.
William F. Russell
Doctor of Humane Letters
"In 13 seasons of punishing the Tennessee oak of the Boston Garden,
you came to embody the fullness of Celtic pride. The greatest champion
in basketball history, the greatest team player of all time, you triumphed
without throwing an elbow, with your temper in check, and with your integrity
an armor that no slur or slander could pierce. As we huddled to watch
you on crackling black-and-white TVs, you taught us how to balance individual
achievement with the collective will to win." -- From honorary degree
Bill Russell was born in 1934 in Monroe, La. In 1943, his family moved
to Oakland, Calif. He was the school mascot at McClymonds High School
before he made the basketball team in the 10th grade, but didn't become
a starter until his senior year. After graduating in 1952, he tried out
for the University of San Francisco team and was given a scholarship.
In the classroom, he studied business administration; on the court, he
quickly distinguished himself as a defensive center. He was named the
NCAA's Most Outstanding Player in 1955 after grabbing 25 rebounds in USF's
victory over La Salle for the national championship, and the USA Player
of the Year in 1956. During those two years, his team had 55 straight
wins and garnered consecutive NCAA championships.
Russell rejected an offer to play with the Harlem Globetrotters and opted
for a spot on the 1956 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which won the gold
medal in Melbourne, Australia. He joined the Boston Celtics that year,
establishing his rebounding prowess by averaging 19.6 per game and helping
the Celtics win their first NBA title. He was named an NBA All-Star for
12 years and the NBA's Most Valuable Player for 5 years. In his 13 years
on the parquet floor of the Boston Garden, the Celtics won 11 NBA championships.
At the end of the 1965-1966 season, Arnold "Red" Auerbach retired
as Celtics head coach and made Russell the new head coach. He coached
the Celtics from 1966 to 1969, joined the Seattle SuperSonics as coach
and general manager from 1973 to 1977 -- leading the team to its first-ever
playoff berth -- and worked with the Sacramento Kings for the 1987-
Russell's basketball legacy lies in what he accomplished while wearing
the Celtics uniform. "I played because I enjoyed it," he once
said, "but there's more to it than that. I played because I was dedicated
to being the best. I was part of a team, and I dedicated myself to making
that team the best."
Toward the end of his basketball career, Russell wrote a syndicated column
and was a network sports announcer and television commentator. He penned
his autobiography, Second Wind: The Memoirs of an Opinionated Man, in
1979, and discussed the qualities that led to his basketball success in
last year's Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth
Century's Greatest Winner. He lectures widely on how to include his 11
lessons in the business world.
Russell serves on the Board of the National Mentoring Partnership, which
provides resources and training for community-based groups that offer
mentoring programs to young people. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial
Basketball Hall of Fame in 1974, voted the Greatest Player in the History
of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America
in 1980, and named to the NBA 25th, 35th, and 50th Anniversary All-Time
He has a daughter, Karen, and is married to Marilyn Nault.
Doctor of Fine Arts
"Your inexhaustible invention and sympathetic intelligence as an
actor have peopled our stage with remarkable women and enlarged our movies
with unforgettable lives. . . . you have established yourself as one of
America's most versatile actors, on television, in the movies, and on
stage -- in ensemble and in etching unerring portraits of individuals."
-- From honorary degree citation
Marisa Tomei was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1964. When she was 12, her
grandmother took her to see A Chorus Line, and Tomei fell in love with
the magic of the theater. During her teens, she studied acting and dancing
and spent summers performing in plays at the Golden Bridge Colony in upstate
New York. She graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School in 1982, then
attended CFA for a year before leaving in 1983 to pursue an acting career.
She started out with a one-line role in the movie The Flamingo Kid (1984)
-- "You're so drunk!" -- then had an 18-month stint in the television
soap opera As the World Turns. She moved to Los Angeles for her prime-time
debut as one of Lisa Bonet's roommates in The Cosby Show spin-off, A Different
World. Her off-Broadway stage debut, in Daughters in 1986, won her a Theatre
World Award. Years later, in 1998, she made her Broadway debut in the
thriller Wait Until Dark.
Tomei had small roles in other films, but it was her memorable portrayal
of Joe Pesci's sassy fiancée, automotive expert Mona Lisa Vito,
in My Cousin Vinny (1992) that earned her a nomination for Best Supporting
Actress. She won the Oscar in a category she shared with Vanessa Redgrave,
Miranda Richardson, and Judy Davis. She also won an MTV Movie Award for
Breakthrough Performance for her role in My Cousin Vinny.
Tomei played a variety of comic and dramatic roles after her Academy Award
victory: a waitress romanced by Christian Slater in Untamed Heart (1993)
-- for which she and Slater won an MTV Movie Award for the best movie
kiss -- a manic, abused mother befriended by Gena Rowlands in Unhook the
Stars (1996), and an idealistic do-gooder in the war-correspondent film
Welcome to Sarajevo (1997). She recently appeared in What Women Want (2000)
and In the Bedroom (2001), for which she received a second Oscar nomination
for Best Supporting Actress.
Whether playing comedy or drama, Tomei stays true to her cardinal acting
rule. "I think it's just good to keep it real, whatever it is,"
she says. "Just go for reality whatever genre it is, and that's what
Tomei is affiliated with New York's Blue Light Theater Company and the
elite Naked Angels Theater Company, along with Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew
Broderick, and Lili Taylor.