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Upcoming Commencement Dates

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

Dartmouth 2011 Honorary Degree Recipient: Roz Chast (Doctor of Arts)

ROZ CHAST, you are a humorist with a rapacious appetite for learning and a finely honed sense of irony. The New Yorker Art Editor Lee Lorenz has called you an artistic genius and credits your work with "widen[ing] the range of what cartoonists considered possible." Drawing inspiration from science, medicine, and your keen observation of human behavior, you display an investigator's propensity for categorizing and labeling. Your body of work forms a modern cabinet of curiosities, as you curate the anxieties, obsessions, and secret pleasures of the human experience.

You've been called one of the few cartoonists whose work would be funny even without pictures. But you also claim a drawing style all your own. Your early work inspired outrage in readers and in fellow cartoonists, who were baffled by your refusal to conform to their understanding of what a cartoon should be. You told one interviewer, "I never deliberately set out to be different, that's just how I draw. But if I tried to conform to someone else's idea of what's funny, I'd have no compass at all."

Perhaps what most sets you apart is your persistence. Your professors at the Rhode Island School of Design told you to forget cartoons. But you could not and did not. You first sold a cartoon to The New Yorker at the age of 23, and you have continued sending in a new batch of ideas every week for more than thirty years. While tastes and editorial directions have changed, appreciation for your work remains steadfast. The New Yorker has now published more than 1,000 of your works.

Roz, in recognition of your unique vision, your endurance, and your resolute commitment to following your own path, Dartmouth proudly presents you with the honorary degree Doctor of Arts.

Last Updated: 3/17/16