June 7, 2010

Six granted honorary degrees, Society of Scholars inductees recognized

Between 1880 and 2009, 436 honorary degrees have been awarded by Johns Hopkins University. On Thursday, six new members were added to this illustrious group that features leaders in various fields of study, practice and service.

During the universitywide commencement ceremony, honorary degrees were conferred on Michael M.E. Johns, chancellor of Emory University and former dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a vice president of the university from 1990 to 1996; Benoit B. Mandelbrot, the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University, who is best known as the founder of fractal geometry; Douglas W. Nelson, who recently retired as president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and who helped foster the East Baltimore Development Initiative; Ellen Ochoa, deputy director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the first Hispanic-American woman in space; Marilyn Ames Pedersen, founding member and currently executive committee member of CharityWorks, a high-impact philanthropic organization dedicated to creating positive change by uniting corporate leaders; and Elias A. Zerhouni, who spent much of his career at Johns Hopkins, where he developed imaging methods to diagnose and treat cancer and cardiovascular, pulmonary and other diseases, before leading the National Institutes of Health from 2002 to 2008. He is currently senior adviser to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Also recognized on Thursday were the new members of the Society of Scholars, who were invested at a ceremony hosted by Provost Lloyd Minor on Wednesday in Homewood’s Mason Hall. The society inducts former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff and junior or visiting faculty who have served at least a year at Johns Hopkins and thereafter gained marked distinction elsewhere in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social or engineering sciences or in the humanities and for whom at least five years have elapsed since their last Johns Hopkins affiliation.

To read about this year’s 15 inductees, go to Society of Scholars inducts new members.