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>  News Releases >   2007 >   June

Dartmouth Commencement 2007

(Posted 06/10/07)

Honorary degree citation to W. Richard West, Jr. (Doctor of Humane Letters)
W. Richard West, Jr.
W. Richard West, Jr.

A member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, you have dedicated your life to advancing the work and culture of native peoples. You studied at the University of Redlands in California, Harvard, and finally Stanford, where you earned your law degree. You subsequently went on to practice law and became the first Native American to be made a partner in a national law firm. As an attorney, you counseled many tribes and native organizations, representing them before federal, state, and tribal courts.

For seventeen years you served as the founding Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, where you sought to represent the many different cultures - past and present - of Native Americans. As director, you oversaw the opening of three distinct units including the one on the National Mall. And in all of your museum work, you have made native voices the authorities on their histories and cultures.

You have helped to transform the museum world with your innovative approach. You served as the chair of the American Association of Museums, as member-at-large of that association's board of directors, and as vice chair of its board of directors.

It is with great pleasure that Dartmouth invites you into its fellowship, with the degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

-James Wright

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