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Upcoming Commencement Dates

  • June 10, 2018
  • June 9, 2019
  • June 14, 2020
  • June 13, 2021
  • June 12, 2022

Commencement 2010 Speeches & Citations

Honorary Degree Citation to Jodi Picoult (Doctor Of Letters)

June 13, 2010

Jodi Picoult, you have led millions of us on explorations of timeless moral issues played out in contemporary society. Your readers today span countries and generations. And your spellbinding books have challenged them to wrestle with unsettling issues from sexual abuse and euthanasia to the relationship between tolerance and religion.

Yours are compelling tales driven forward, not by easy answers, but by uncomfortable questions. They force us to think hard and deeply about right and wrong. And each is marked by a depth of research that brings authenticity and forensic precision to every scene, whether in a courtroom or in an Amish community, in an operating room or on a ghost hunt. But it is your own humanity that undoubtedly lets us see in each of your characters part of ourselves.

The range of your work – from family life to diseases to the inner life of Wonder Woman – is perhaps unmatched in modern American literature. It inspires women and men, parents and teenagers and does so in 34 languages. It brings fresh and original insight to public discourse on the concerns of our day.

Although you studied creative writing at Princeton and earned a masters degree in education from Harvard, you ultimately had the good sense to settle here in Hanover. So, at Dartmouth we are blessed not only to count you as a great American writer, but also as a neighbor. Another famous American writer once described your work as “unassuming brilliance.” We know that description is just as aptly applied to you as a person as well.

Expressing your love of research, you recently said that there’s a part of the writer that wants to be a scholar, “because you are a scholar of the world.” For your body of work that has helped us see the world in new ways, Dartmouth is pleased to award you the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters.

Last Updated: 3/13/16