| 2005 Honorary Degree Recipients
The University will confer honorary degrees upon the following individuals for public service and philanthropy and for contributions to the arts, business, and athletics. In addition, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, this year’s Commencement speaker, will be presented with a Doctor of Laws degree, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson, who is delivering the Baccalaureate address, will be presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
David Aronson, a professor emeritus at the College of Fine Arts, was a leader of the Boston Expressionist art movement of the 1940s and helped define Boston University’s visual arts curriculum.
Born in Lithuania in 1923, Aronson immigrated to America with his family at the age of six. He graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1946 and remained there until 1955, when he was invited by Boston University to direct its new visual arts program. Aronson developed the challenging, technique-based curriculum at the school of visual arts and established the BU Art Gallery. He retired from the University in 1989.
Throughout his career, Aronson has explored a variety of subjects and worked with a range of materials. He primarily focused on Biblical figures and themes early in his career, breaking with Judaism’s religious traditions by painting New Testament scenes, and in the 1940s and 1950s he worked in oils and encaustic, an ancient painting technique using pigment mixed with hot wax. Later he sketched in charcoal and cast sculpture in bronze, and his recent work is done in oil pastels.
Aronson’s paintings and sculptures have been widely exhibited and collected, and his awards and honors include the Grand Prize at the Boston Arts Festival in 1952 and 1954, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1960, and election as an Academician at the National Academy of Design in New York in 1970. A major retrospective of his work was presented at the BU Art Gallery earlier this year.
Aronson lives in Sudbury, Mass., with his wife, the painter Georgianna Nyman.
John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, knows full well what the team’s 2004 World Series title means to New England. “Some people told me it’s the biggest thing since the Revolutionary War,” he said last October.
Trailing the New York Yankees three games to none in the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox took an unprecedented four straight games to win the pennant, and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, breaking the “curse of the Bambino” and bringing Boston its first major league baseball championship since 1918.
Born in Illinois, Henry was raised in Arkansas and California, where he graduated high school in 1967. He was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals in his youth, and listening to the players’ statistics, learned to quickly calculate batting averages in his head. His statistical acumen, combined with a willingness to take risks, would enhance his future career.
Henry, who studied philosophy at various colleges in California, began by working on his father’s farms, growing soybeans, corn, rice, and cotton. He built on that experience to enter the futures market, becoming chairman and founder of a commodity trading advising firm, John W. Henry and Company (JWH), a pioneer in the concept of the managed futures product. The firm has successfully employed the systematic trading models Henry designed. JWH currently is among the largest financial investment firms in the world, managing foreign exchange, financial futures, and commodities for leading money center banks, brokerage firms, multinational corporations, and private clients worldwide.
Love of baseball led Henry to management positions in the sport, from chairman and majority owner of the Tucson Toros of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League to a limited partner in the New York Yankees to chairman and sole owner of the Florida Marlins. He is now principal owner of New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Red Sox, the New England Sports Network, and real estate that includes Fenway Park.
Henry and his partners founded and generously funded the Red Sox Foundation after acquiring the team. The foundation seeks to advance community efforts and to address health, education, recreation, and urban social issues with the help of the owners, the staff members, and especially the players. Henry has served on the board of directors of the Futures Industry Association, the National Association of Futures Trading Advisors, and the Managed Futures Trading Association.
He and his wife, Peggy, live in Boca Raton, Fla., and Boston.
John Forbes Kerry
During his more than two decades as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, John Forbes Kerry has been an advocate of fiscal discipline, affordable health care, community policing, and environmental protection. But the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee perhaps is known best as an authority on national and international affairs. He has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 19 years, has sponsored legislation to improve homeland security, has championed veterans’ rights, and has fought to prevent the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons to hostile nations.
Born in 1943, in Aurora, Colo., Kerry was raised in Massachusetts and educated at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. The son of a military man, he had already enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale in 1966. Deployed to the Western Pacific aboard the U.S.S. Gridley, he requested duty in Vietnam and was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, and a Bronze Star with Combat V for saving the life of a fellow soldier. Upon returning home, he became active in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and later cofounded Vietnam Veterans of America.
After an unsuccessful run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972, Kerry graduated from Boston College Law School in 1976. He was Middlesex County first assistant district attorney in Massachusetts from 1976 to 1979 and then became a partner in the Boston firm Kerry and Sragow. He was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and worked with the nation’s governors to stem acid rain pollution. Two years later he was elected to the Senate, where he currently is serving his fourth term.
Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry. They have a blended family of two daughters and three sons.
Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman became the first woman ever elected governor of New Jersey when she defeated incumbent James Florio in 1993. During her two terms as governor, Whitman cut taxes, promoted anticrime legislation, and worked for cleaner air, water, and land in New Jersey. She also won voter approval for the state’s first stable funding source to preserve a million acres of open space and farmland.
In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Whitman to his cabinet as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, where she served until 2003. Among her achievements were the introduction of the president’s Clear Skies Initiative, the establishment of a watershed-based approach to protecting the nation’s waters, and the encouragement of public-private partnerships designed to bring both economic success and environmental progress. Whitman currently is president of the Whitman Strategy Group, a management consulting and strategic planning partnership serving both government and business clients.
Born in New York City in 1946 and brought up in New Jersey’s Hunterdon County, Whitman graduated from the Chapin School in New York in 1964 and earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Wheaton College in 1968. Early in her career, Whitman was an outreach worker for the Republican National Committee, a staff member of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, and an English-as-a-second-language teacher in New York. In 1982, she was elected to the Somerset County Board of Freeholders, a position she held until New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean appointed her to the Board of Public Utilities. She resigned to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Bill Bradley, narrowly losing the election.
Whitman is the author of the book It’s My Party, Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America, published earlier this year. She is married to John R. Whitman, a financial consultant whose grandfather was governor of New York. They have two children, Kate and Taylor.
Edward J. Zander
Edward J. Zander (GSM’75) has led a major reorganization of Motorola since being named CEO and chairman of the board of the world’s second largest mobile-phone maker in January 2004. Among his accomplishments so far has been overseeing the introduction of several successful new products, including the popular RAZR phone.
Born in 1947, Zander grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1968 and a master’s of business administration from the Graduate School of Management in 1975.
At the beginning of his career, Zander held senior management positions at Data General and Apollo Computer before joining Sun Microsystems as vice president of corporate marketing in 1987. He subsequently became president of SunSoft, then president of Sun Microsystems Computer Company, and later CEO and president of Sun Microsystems. After establishing the company’s preeminence in the server market and as a supplier of network infrastructure, he left Sun Microsystems in 2002 to serve as a managing director of Silver Lake Partners, a leading private equity fund focused on investments in technology industries. In 2004, Zander was chosen to lead Motorola, a global leader in personal communications equipment. He is widely credited with having sharpened its focus on innovation and operational efficiency.
Zander holds leadership positions in several professional, educational, and nonprofit organizations. A loyal alumnus, he is honorary chairman of SMG’s Capital Campaign Committee and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. In 2000, he received the school’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, and last year, the BU Alumni Award.
He and his wife, Mona, have two sons, Todd and Ryan.