Olympian, art historian and CEO to receive honorary degrees from KU

The University of Kansas on Wednesday announced the names of those who will receive honorary degrees at KU’s 147th Commencement on May 19, 2019.

Billy Mills, an Olympic gold medalist, will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his outstanding contributions to improving the lives of Native Americans and commitment to lifting the voices of diverse and underrepresented people, according to a news release from KU.

Elizabeth Broun, a director emerita of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will receive the degree of Doctor of Arts in honor of her extraordinary contributions to the field of American visual history.

Teruhisa Ueda, the president and CEO of Shimadzu Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of scientific instrumentation, will receive the degree of Doctor of Science for his outstanding contributions to science and technology.

The recipients “embody the mission of the University of Kansas and serve as role models for students, faculty, staff and individuals throughout society who want to make meaningful contributions to the world around them,” KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said in the release.

KU began awarding honorary degrees in 2012. Nominees are selected for outstanding scholarship, research, creative activity, service to humanity or other achievements consistent with the academic endeavors of the university.

Recipients do not need to be KU alumni, and philanthropic contributions to the university are not considered during the process, according to the news release.


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