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Honorary degree citation to Mary Sue Coleman (Doctor of Science)
A native of Kentucky, you grew up in Iowa and, as an undergraduate, went to Grinnell College. Having earned a Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a young biochemist you distinguished yourself in the field of cancer research, receiving millions of dollars in federal funding and publishing over seventy articles. You then took your considerable skills into academic administration, first at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and, subsequently, the University of New Mexico.
In 1995 you were elected President of the University of Iowa and seven years later assumed the presidency of the University of Michigan. In each case you were the first woman to serve as president of those distinguished institutions. Throughout your long career you have been a champion of high academic values and of the power of education to enable and empower students.
At Michigan you rallied a vigorous defense of the legal challenge before the United States Supreme Court to affirmative action, helping to win the right of all colleges and universities to take race into consideration in college applications. You have also taken on important leadership positions on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I board of directors, as well as on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, championing intercollegiate athletes, while affirming the academic priorities that are at the core of their education.
You have excelled as both a scientist and as an academic administrator. We here admire what you have done and proudly recognize your many accomplishments by conferring the degree Doctor of Science.
- James Wright
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