When the employees are angry, the stockholders hostile, or the regulators salivating, whom do you send? Dick Parsons. With a rare charisma for consensus, you have built an extraordinary career in law, government, and business. Always the diplomat, you have operated on the principle that business, despite its spreadsheets and technology, is, like education, a social activity, and that there is no challenge that cannot be met by getting the right people to listen to each other and find common solutions. Your ability to motivate organizations has led you to such positions as president of the Dime Savings Bank of New York, president of Time Warner, chairman of Citigroup, and now senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners. As a result, you have had a hand in most of the large media transactions of our time. Meanwhile your ability to see the big picture has led to senior advisor positions with U.S. presidents as varied as Gerald Ford, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and, in another realm, to lead the successful effort to save The Apollo Theater. Some have wondered whether your ability to stay cool grows from your love of jazz, which runs from hosting a weekly radio show to chairing the Jazz Foundation of America—another reason you have become known with awe as the un-mogul mogul.
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 2, 2013