Archbishop Desmond Tutu Among Honorees at Teachers College, Columbia
Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and former General Secretary
of the South African Council of Churches spoke at this year’s
master’s convocation for Teachers College Columbia University.
Joining him as honorees were folk singer Pete Seeger and the Reverend
James Forbes of Riverside Church.
At a later master’s convocation on the same day and in the same
location, filmmaker Ken Burns and civil rights attorney Morris
Dees were honored.
Desmond Tutu is a moral authority in the fight against apartheid
and winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize. In his long and sometimes
lonely journey as a young teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College
to his work as the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
trial, his objective has always been “a democratic society without
Tutu’s remarkable personal memoir No Future Without Forgiveness,
teaches the powerful belief that “we can indeed transcend the
conflicts of the past, we can hold hands as we realize our common
Pete Seeger’s use of music as a means of speaking out against
war, racism, poverty and pollution demonstrates his commitment
to using his life to educate and make a difference in the world.
The stories he tells through song bring a sense of common humanity
and shared social vision and provoke compassion, thought and action.
His song “If I Had a Hammer” speaks to the possibilities of constructive
social change, and his song “We Shall Overcome” was the anthem
of the Civil Rights Movement in America. His willingness to live
what he believes was evident in his refusal to cooperate with
the House Committee on Un-American Activities when asked to give
names of people to be investigated. He risked going to jail for
10 years in order to do what he believed was right. Seeger’s concern
for the environment prompted him to establish Clearwater, a volunteer
group whose sailboat traveled the length of the Hudson River to
educate children about environmental pollution. Thanks to these
efforts, the River is becoming safe again for swimming. In composing
songs that originate from cultures around the world, he generously
gives part of his profits from the song back to the part of the
world where the song is from.
In his work as an ordained minister, the Reverend James Forbes
has been called a “preacher’s preacher,” teaching others through
his message. As the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union
Theological Seminary, he has taught others how to be effective
messengers. At Riverside Church, where he serves as Senior Minister
to a congregation numbering in the thousands, he inspires many
to work to help others. He has been honored by Ebony magazine
in 1984 and 1993 as one of America’s greatest Black preachers
and was recognized in 1996 by Newsweek as one of the twelve most
effective preachers in the English-speaking world.
Reverend James Forbes has been called a “preacher’s preacher,”
teaching others through his message. As the Joe R. Engle Professor
of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary, he has taught others
how to be effective messengers. He teaches about religious and
political intolerance and encourages his listeners to participate
in civic life and to let their voices be heard in a respectful
dialogue about the direction of our nation.
Ken Burns has spent more than 20 years making documentary films,
bringing history to life for his audiences. The subjects of his
films have ranged from American monuments and structures, to government,
important historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Susan
B. Anthony, the American pastime of baseball, and America’s original
art form of Jazz. The quality of his work is such that his films,
such as his series on the Civil War, have broken records for public
television viewership. Stephen Ambrose, the historian, has said
of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns
than any other source.”
Morris Dees is chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law
Center, which he founded in 1971 with attorney Joe Levin. What
began as a small civil rights law firm is now internationally
known for tolerance education programs, its legal victories against
white supremacist groups, its tracking of hate groups, and its
sponsorship of the Civil Rights Memorial. He has developed ideas
for Teaching Tolerance, the Center’s education project. Through
this project, the Center is teaching people about the need for
tolerance and racial equality in our country. He has received
the Barnard College Medal of Distinction, the University of Alabama
Humanitarian Award, and the National Education Association’s Martin
Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award.
Cleveland E. Dodge Medal For Distinguished Service To Education
was given to Henry A. McKinnell, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Pfizer Inc, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.
Pfizer was founded in New York City in 1849, remains headquartered
there, and has grown to become the third most valuable company
in the world. Pfizer’s 15,000 research professionals are engaged
in the world’s largest privately funded biomedical research effort,
backed by an investment of more than $100 million every week.
Under Dr. McKinnell, Pfizer has made access to medicine a key
company driver, creating partnerships with governments in the
U.S. and overseas to provide access to health care for those who
cannot afford it. The company has also invested heavily in medical
education, including the funding of a state-of-the-art facility
in Uganda to train African doctors in the latest therapies to
combat HIV. Dr. McKinnell, a 31-year Pfizer colleague, is a member
of the President’s Commission on HIV/AIDS, a trustee of the New
York Public Library, and a director of ExxonMobil and John Wiley
and Sons. He earned his doctorate in finance from Stanford University.#
Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001.
Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express
consent of the publisher. © 2003.