Boston University to Award Jacques Pépin Honorary Degree

in Commencement, Metropolitan College, News Releases
May 19th, 2011

Contact: Lauren Davalla, 617-358-1688 |

(Boston) – Boston University announced that Jacques Pépin will receive an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, at the University’s 138th graduation ceremonies at BU’s Nickerson Field at 1:00 PM on Sunday, May 22. Pépin, presently a culinary instructor at BU’s Metropolitan College (MET), will receive the degree before more than 5,000 graduates and 20,000 guests at New England’s largest graduation ceremony.

The acclaimed chef, author and television personality is being recognized for his contributions to the University, including his role as co-founder (with Julia Child) of the MET master’s program in gastronomy and the certificate program in the culinary arts, which established the tradition of integrating hands-on culinary experience with the serious academic study of cuisine in society. Rebecca Alssid, director of Lifelong Learning at MET, says longtime friend and colleague Pépin “epitomizes the best of what a teacher, an artist and humanist ought to be. He is recognized throughout the world for his culinary skill, his warmth of spirit and his generosity as an educator and a person.”

In response to BU’s announcement of the award, Pépin remarked: “It is a great honor and I am humbled, gratified and very happy. It validates the work of chefs and the importance of cooking, dining and sharing food with family and friends. Julia would be very proud.”

Pépin, who has been a part-time faculty member at MET since 1983, has taught hundreds of Boston University students. He has additionally drawn over ten thousand residents of greater Boston to the University by hosting informal seminars, demonstrations, discussions and special cooking events through MET’s Lifelong Learning programs. In 2005, MET honored Pépin with the Roger Deveau Memorial Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award.

Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of The CBS Evening News, will deliver the commencement address and Ahmed Zewail, Ph.D., who teaches at the California Institute of Technology and won a Nobel Prize in 1999 for his research into super-fast molecular transformations, will deliver the Commencement Day baccalaureate address. The prestigious list of honorary degree recipients includes activist Victoria Reggie Kennedy (Doctor of Laws) who will also speak at the School of Social Work’s convocation; painter Frank Stella (Doctor of Fine arts); and journalist Nina Totenberg (Doctor of Humane Letters).

About Metropolitan College and Boston University
As one of the 17 degree-granting bodies that comprise Boston University, Metropolitan College (MET) offers part-time, full-time and international students a remarkable range of choices for study to enrich their lives and advance their careers. MET offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, diploma and certificate programs. For more information about Metropolitan College visit

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

High-resolution digital photographs of the 2011 BU Commencement participants can be downloaded here.
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