2004 Honorary degree recipients
The University will confer upon the following individuals honorary degrees for their contributions to the arts and athletics and for their public service and philanthropy. In addition, scientist and entrepreneur J. Craig Venter, this year’s Commencement speaker, and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, who is delivering the Baccalaureate address, will be presented with Doctor of Humane Letters degrees
Bill Belichick, who led the New England Patriots to Super Bowl victories in 2002 and 2004, is known as one of football’s best defensive strategists.
A Nashville native, Belichick grew up in Annapolis, Md., where his father, Steve, coached football at the Naval Academy for 33 years. After completing high school, Belichick attended Philips Academy for a year, playing guard on the Big Blue’s 7-0 undefeated team in 1970. He went on to Wesleyan University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1975.
His first position in the National Football League was as an unpaid assistant with the Baltimore Colts. He moved on to assistant coaching jobs with Detroit and Denver before joining the New York Giants in 1979, staying with them for 12 years and serving as defensive coordinator for two Super Bowl victories. Belichick then spent five years as head coach of the Cleveland Browns before he came to the Patriots as a defensive assistant in 1996. He left the following year to take a position with the New York Jets as defensive coordinator, returning to New England in 2000 as head coach.
In the Patriots’ two Super Bowl victories, he is credited not only with devising effective defensive schemes, but also instilling a rigorous work ethic and emphasizing teamwork. Before both championship wins, the Patriots refused to be introduced individually, instead running onto the field as a single unit in a show of solidarity.
Belichick and his wife, Debby, are known for their commitment to charitable organizations serving populations in need in the local community. The charitable foundation in their name has supported initiatives in Cleveland and Boston, and in addition they have established a scholarship for an Annapolis High School senior who has demonstrated both academic and athletic achievement. The Belichicks have three children.
Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow, a BU emeritus professor, is considered by many leading critics to be the 20th century’s greatest English language novelist.
Born in Lachine, Quebec, and educated at Northwestern University, where he earned a B.S. in anthropology, Bellow came to prominence 50 years ago with the creation of his Chicago-born character Augie March. Since then he has been one of the most distinguished writers in the history of American letters, receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Humboldt’s Gift, three National Book Awards, for The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Mr. Sammler’s Planet, and the Nobel Prize in Literature. Among many other accolades, he has been honored with France’s Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Novelist Martin Amis labels The Adventures of Augie March the “Great American Novel” because of its “fantastic inclusiveness, its pluralism, its qualmless promiscuity . . . Everything is in here, the crushed and exalted, and all the notches in between.” Washington Post reviewer Jonathan Yardley writes that Bellow is “our greatest living novelist.”
At the age of 88, Bellow has been an eyewitness to many of the 20th century’s significant events, and has known renowned figures in politics and the sciences as well as in the arts. His experiences have fed his writing — a dozen novels, as well as novellas, short stories,essays, plays, translations, and a memoir — beginning with “Two Morning Monologues” in 1941 through Ravelstein in 2001.
He has maintained a lifelong connection to the academy, teaching at universities across the United States and abroad, culminating in 1993 in a decadelong tenure in The University Professors program.
Bellow has three grown sons and is married to Janis Bellow, with whom he has a daughter, Naomi Rose.
Irwin Chafetz (CAS’58) has worked for nearly four decades in the travel, hospitality, and trade show industries. With his wife, Roberta, he has used his professional success to give generously to educational, cultural, and health institutions throughout the Boston area. Together with fellow alumnus Leonard Florence (SMG’54, Hon.’01), Chafetz made the naming gift for BU’s Florence and Chafetz Hillel House, which will open in the fall of 2004. The close friends also gave the naming gifts for the Florence and Chafetz Home for Specialized Care, an Alzheimer’s facility that opened in Chelsea in 2002.
Born in Boston in 1936, Chafetz earned a bachelor’s degree in romance languages from BU, and then attended Syracuse University. He launched his career in the travel industry after working a part-time job in the field as a student. He is past president and currently vice president and a director of Interface Group–Massachusetts, Inc., a privately held company that owns and operates GWV International, New England’s largest charter tour operator. He also is a past president of Five Star Airlines, a charter airline operating aircraft in support of GWV. In addition, he formerly was a vice president and director of Interface Group–Nevada, which owned and operated Comdex, the largest American trade show.
Chafetz currently serves on the boards of the Wellness Community of Greater Boston, Hebrew College, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, and the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Boston University School of Management and a trustee of Suffolk University. He and his wife have two sons and four grandchildren.
Keith Lockhart was just 35 when he accepted the baton from John Williams in 1995 to become conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Under his leadership, the orchestra, which has been one of the most famous in the United States since the 1930s, has embraced an ambitious program of touring and recording, performing to critical and popular acclaim at home in Boston, on 21 national tours, and 4 tours of Japan and Korea.
Lockhart had previously been associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras. He has been music director of the Utah Symphony since 1998, and has conducted many of the world’s major orchestras. Earlier this year, he made his Boston Lyric Opera debut, conducting Tosca.
In addition to his many professional conducting appearances, Lockhart annually leads 15 educational concerts for Boston-area students and their families. And as part of the Boston Music Education Collaborative, he serves as a godparent to the Emily Fifield Elementary School in Dorchester.
A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Lockhart began his musical studies at the age of seven with piano lessons. He earned degrees from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and Carnegie Mellon University. He is married to Boston Symphony and Boston Pops violinist Lucia Lin, a member of the Muir String Quartet in residence at BU and a CFA associate professor.
In his 28-year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey has built an impressive legislative record as a champion of consumer rights, health reform, environmental conservation, and a free, competitive marketplace. As the highest ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, he has shaped more than 20 years of telecommunications policy, working to protect children using the Internet, to penalize unsolicited spam e-mails, to establish a do-not-call list for telephone users, and to prevent the listing of cell phone numbers without the subscriber’s consent.
First elected to represent the 7th District of Massachusetts in congress in 1976, Markey has been instrumental in dismantling monopolies in electricity, local and long distance telephone service, cable television, and international satellite communications. He was one of the only members of the Commerce Committee to fight AT&T’s monopoly in the early 1980s, and is a principal author of the requirement that the Bell operating companies accept local telephone service in the 1990s.
Markey is leading the House effort to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the Bush administration’s efforts to extract oil from the Alaskan wilderness. He has promoted energy conservation with his 1997 legislation to set minimum energy efficiency standards for major household appliances such as refrigerators and washers and dryers, dramatically reducing energy demand and preserving thousands of acres that would otherwise have been developed into electric power plants.
As a member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, he is working to improve security measures at liquid natural gas facilities and nuclear power plants, and aboard commercial airliners. Born in Malden, Mass., in 1946, Markey earned a B.A. from Boston College in 1968 and a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1972. He is married to Susan Blumenthal, the U.S. assistant surgeon general.
Four-time Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard (CFA’74), a versatile actress on stage and on the big and small screens, made her film debut in Alan Rudolph’s Remember My Name (1978), and later appeared in Robert Altman’s H.E.A.L.T.H. (1979). She received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as the housekeeper Geechee in the film Cross Creek (1983). Woodard has been honored with Emmy Awards for appearances on the television series Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and The Practice, as well as for her starring role in the HBO drama Miss Evers’ Boys. Her performance as Eunice Evers, a nurse caring for patients in the U.S. government’s infamous 1932 Tuskeegee study, where black men with syphilis were not treated even though there was a cure for the disease, also won her a 1998 Golden Globe Award, a cable ACE Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
In film, Woodard has regularly played unconventional women with troubled pasts. Her other notable big-screen appearances include those in Miss Firecracker (1989), Passion Fish (1992), for which she won a Golden Globe nomination, Rich in Love (1993), Crooklyn (1994), and Mumford (1999).
In addition to her many film and television roles, Woodard has stage credits that include appearances with the New York Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco’s ACT, and most recently, Drowning Crow on Broadway. Born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1953, Woodard and her husband, writer Roderick Spencer, live in Santa Monica, Calif., and have two children.
13 May 2004