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Dartmouth Commencement 2005

Posted 06/12/05

Honorary degree citation to Andrew Young (Doctor of Laws)
Andrew Young
Andrew Young

As a child growing up in New Orleans your father would tell you, "Don't get mad, get smart." It was advice you never forgot. And for you, being smarter also encompassed a fundamental sense of civic and moral responsibility.

As a young Georgia minister in the 1950s, you became involved in the fight for black rights. You became Martin Luther King Jr.'s aide and confidante and one of the chief organizers of the Civil Rights movement, always planning and moving the cause forward. You were with Dr. King when he was murdered, but you never drew back from the fight.

In 1972 you were the first black congressman elected from Georgia since Reconstruction. Under President Jimmy Carter, you served as Ambassador to the United Nations, and you were for two terms mayor of Atlanta. You have used these positions and others to advocate on behalf of the poor and the disempowered, fighting against racism, war, and poverty wherever you saw them.

In your life's work you have aimed to unite people in common principle rather than divide them in difference. In your campaigns you have reminded us, "Rich and poor, young and old, black and white, we must work together for a better America." And, indeed, in all your work you have led by example, successfully bringing along people of varied backgrounds and experiences toward a realization of your vision, our common vision. 

Your nation has recognized you with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and you have been awarded countless other honors. It is with gratitude for all you have done that Dartmouth adds its own highest measure of recognition by bestowing upon you the degree Doctor of Laws.

- James Wright

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