David Brooks, Doctor of Letters

To be heard amid the growing din, most political commentators try to yell more loudly, but you try to speak more thoughtfully and nimbly. Driven more by ideas than by ideologies, you bring uncommon breadth and depth to the field. You have managed to do so despite the relentless pressure of a columnist’s deadlines and your seeming ubiquity on television and radio and in the pages of our most serious periodicals, making you a kind of king of all political media. Even many of those who disagree with your conclusions welcome the rigor of your analysis, welcome your willingness to admit when you have gotten something wrong, and applaud the example of civility and respect that you model in our increasingly shrill national debates. Would that more in the public arena followed that example. You have married reporting skills honed on assignments across the country and abroad with a wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, emblematic of the liberal arts, which has led you to explore how recent developments in the academic fields of psychology, sociology, and even anthropology might help us better understand that elusive species homo politicus.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Letters, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

June 3, 2012