You are truly a woman of the world. Born in a Nigerian college town, where you were cursed, for a writer, with a happy childhood, you came to America to study,and now split your time between both countries and both cultures. A voracious young reader, you began writing, by your own account, as soon as you could spell. That writing has now come to be translated into thirty languages, and you have become a global presence, bestowed with an array of honors, including a MacArthur Grant. Your fictional characters make real lives that are intersected by nationality,gender, race, and class. “No one,” you have said, “is just one story.” These lives often challenge the status quo, as does your own. You are increasingly turned to, in intellectual circles and in the general public, for guidance on how to advance the lives of women and girls. Your TED Talk became the influential essay “Why We Should All Be Feminists,” and your email to a friend who had asked for advice on raising her daughter became the international sensation Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. You are indeed a woman of the world, not only as it is, but as it is becoming.
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Letters, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 4, 2017