With extraordinary intelligence and determination, you have worked to remake your beloved alma mater, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Through challenging financial times, especially for public colleges, you have somehow managed to add majors, programs, and other student experiences; appoint stellar new faculty; renovate several major buildings; and grow enrollment, both in number and in geographic spread. You have deepened MCLA’s ties to the community, adding economic vitality and enhancing the local cultural scene. A particular focus has been your promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math, your leadership in which helped secure funding for the Center for Science and Innovation, now under construction, which will benefit not only the campus but the region. You have also been the driving force behind the Berkshire Compact on Education—an effort, already being replicated elsewhere, to advance the accessibility and affordability of higher education and to raise aspirations until K-16 becomes the expectation of all. Public higher education in this country has no more passionate and effective voice, as you and MCLA show how a small college can have national clout even from the remote northwest corner of Massachusetts.
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 3, 2012