Shriver, Fauci, Klawe to speak at Spring Commencement


The U.S. president’s chief medical adviser, an award-winning journalist and a computer scientist are recommended to receive honorary degrees and will speak at University of Michigan commencement ceremonies this spring.  

Journalist Maria Shriver will be the main speaker at the April 30 ceremony honoring 2022 graduates at Michigan Stadium. She has been recommended for an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Physician and scientist Anthony S. Fauci will speak at the May 7 “comeback ceremony,” also at Michigan Stadium, for 2020 graduates who didn’t have an in-person commencement because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fauci has been recommended for an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Maria M. Klawe, a computer scientist, scholar and president of Harvey Mudd College, will deliver the address at the April 29 Rackham Graduate Exercises at Hill Auditorium. She has been recommended for an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.

Other honorary degree recipients, recommended by President Mary Sue Coleman and to be considered by the Board of Regents on March 24, are:

  • Berry Gordy, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and founder of the Motown record label, Honorary Doctor of Music.
  • Thomas Cleveland Holt, historian and college professor, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
  • William C. Martin, former U-M athletic director, and founder and chair of the Bank of Ann Arbor, Honorary Doctor of Laws.

(Update: Regents approved these honorary degrees March 24.)

The information below about each recipient was provided by the Office of University Development and Events.

Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver
Maria Shriver

Shriver is a mother of four, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist, seven-time New York Times best-selling author, NBC News special anchor, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and Shriver Media, and co-founder of the mission-driven brain health and wellness brand MOSH. 

A trailblazer for empowering women, Shriver uses her voice and platforms to advance pressing issues affecting women and women’s health.

In 2010, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s” reported for the first time that women are at an increased risk for the disease. She continues to fund research to figure out why that is, recently partnering with The Cleveland Clinic to launch the country’s first Alzheimer’s disease prevention center for women.

As first lady of California from 2003-10, Shriver worked on behalf of women and families, particularly those living on the brink of poverty.

Shriver’s life and career are driven by her belief that everyone has the ability to be an “architect of change” and make the world a better place. Her media company, Shriver Media, promotes the power of media to do good and be of service. Its popular newsletter, “The Sunday Paper,” seeks to inspire hearts and minds, and elevate the voices of others who are moving humanity forward. 

Shriver’s latest books, the New York Times bestseller “I’ve Been Thinking” and its companion, “I’ve Been Thinking…The Journal,”offer wisdom, guidance, encouragement and inspiration for those seeking to create a meaningful life of their own. 

Anthony S. Fauci

Anthony Fauci

A distinguished scientist and physician, Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation at the National Institutes of Health. He has advised seven U.S. presidents through major global health crises, including outbreaks of HIV, West Nile virus, swine flu, Zika virus and Ebola.

Known for his straightforward explanation of complicated scientific facts, calm demeanor and subtle sense of humor, Fauci has been a trusted public voice on SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962 from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an M.D. in 1966 from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Fauci joined the NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Investigation in 1968. His research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immunoregulation underpins current understandings of the regulation of the human immune response.

In addition, he led research efforts to understand how HIV impairs the immune system. 

A principal architect of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launched in 2003, Fauci advocated for increased AIDS research funding and access to experimental drugs.

Following anthrax attacks in the United States in 2001, Fauci worked to boost supplies of smallpox vaccine, bolster vaccine research and accelerate research against emerging diseases.

Fauci serves on the editorial boards of many scientific journals, and is author, co-author or editor of more than 1,400 scientific publications. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Accolades include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Robert Koch Gold Medallion, and the National Medal of Science.

Maria M. Klawe

Maria M. Klawe
Maria Klawe

Klawe began her tenure as Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, she is the first woman to lead the college since its founding in 1955.

Klawe has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education.

Prior to joining Harvey Mudd College, Klawe served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University, and in several administrative and faculty positions at the University of British Columbia. Klawe also spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. in 1977 and Bachelor of Science degree in 1973 in mathematics from the University of Alberta.

Klawe has given talks at international conferences, national symposia and colleges across the U.S. and Canada about diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines and industries, gender and gaming, and lessons from her own career. She has devoted particular attention to improving K-12 science and mathematics education.

She is on the boards of Glowforge, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Alliance for Southern California Innovation and Math for America; chairs the board of; is a founding adviser of; is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and is a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley.

Klawe received the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership and was ranked No. 17 on Fortune’s 2014 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Computer Science and the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women, and is in the U.S. News STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame.

Berry Gordy

Berry Gordy

As founder of Motown Records, Gordy is responsible for the “Motown Sound” that reached across racial, political and social lines in the turbulent 1960s and transformed popular music.

He discovered and nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & the Pips and many other acts.

Before becoming a songwriter, producer, director and entrepreneur, Gordy dropped out of high school to pursue a boxing career. He was a successful featherweight before shifting gears to pursue his real passion: songwriting. 

On Jan. 12, 1959, with a family loan of $800 at 6% interest, he founded the music publishing company Jobete and the Tamla record label. He started his new company in a modest Detroit house emblazoned with an immodest sign, “Hitsville, USA.” Motown was incorporated in 1960, the name a nod to his hometown.

In the 1960s, Gordy booked his artists into the top clubs and venues around the world and moved them into television. He also was involved in the civil rights movement and released the recorded speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.

Gordy expanded into filmmaking with “Mahogany,” his directorial debut. Another movie, “Lady Sings the Blues,” garnered five Academy Award nominations. 

Gordy’s numerous honors and awards include the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rainbow Coalition’s Man of the Millennium Award, the National Medal of Arts and a Kennedy Center Honor.  

Gordy’s contribution to music and popular culture is chronicled in his autobiography, “To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown.” It was the basis for his play, “Motown the Musical,”which premiered on Broadway in 2013.

Thomas Cleveland Holt

Thomas Cleveland Holt
Thomas Holt

Holt, the James Westfall Thompson Professor Emeritus of American and African American History at the University of Chicago, has written extensively about the experiences of people in the African diaspora, especially those in the Caribbean, Europe and the United States.

Holt’s study of Jamaica’s economy, politics and society after slavery, “The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938,” was awarded the 1995 Elsa Goveia Prize by the Association of Caribbean Historians. An earlier work, his study of emancipation in the American South, “Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction,” received the Southern Historical Association’s Charles S. Sydnor Prize in 1978.

Holt’s most recent works are, “The Problem of Race in the 21st Century,” “Children of Fire: A History of African Americans,” and “The Movement: The African American Struggle for Civil Rights.”

Holt received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965 and his Master of Arts degree in 1966 from Howard University. He earned his Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University in 1973.

Holt has taught at Howard University, Harvard University, U-M and the University of Chicago. He also was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. 

He has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Center for Advance Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Other honors include U-M’s Presidential Initiatives Award and Yale University’s Wilbur Cross Medal. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Holt has served on the Council for the National Endowment for the Humanities and on the editorial boards of several academic journals. He has served as president of the American Historical Association and on the board of the American Council of Learned Societies.

William C. Martin

William C. Martin
William Martin

A first-generation American who was born and raised in Detroit, Martin founded two companies and previously served as U-M’s athletic director.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wittenberg College, a graduate degree in economics from the University of Stockholm in Sweden, and an MBA from U-M.

In 1968, Martin founded the First Martin Corp., a diversified real estate development company based in Ann Arbor. He founded the Bank of Ann Arbor in 1996 and serves as its chair. The bank has acquired five financial institutions serving southeast Michigan and today has more than 300 employees, 17 offices and just less than $4 billion in assets.

In 2000, Martin became U-M’s athletic director, serving in that position for 10 years. During his tenure, 13 facilities, including Michigan Stadium, were built or renovated. While chairing the Big Ten Athletic Directors, Martin played a leadership role in launching the Big Ten TV network.

Martin has taught economics at Muskingum College, Eastern Michigan University and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

His community service includes serving as president of the Washtenaw Land Conservancy, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Foundation Board and the Wittenberg University Board. The Ann Arbor News recognized Martin as a Citizen of the Year.

In 2015, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Martin to the City of Detroit Financial Oversight Board to monitor city finances coming out of bankruptcy.

A lifelong sailor, Martin was president of the United States Sailing Association. He also has served as a board member and president of the United States Olympic Committee leading up to the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, receiving its highest honor, the General Douglas MacArthur Award. In addition, Martin has served on the boards of the National Football Foundation and the Miami Dolphins.



  1. Carl Stein
    on April 7, 2022 at 1:31 am

    I see that the write-up about Maria Shriver starts with the information that Ms Shriver is a mother of four, yet the write-ups about Dr Fauci and the other male degree recipients do not mention anywhere the number of children they have. How sexist to think that the first bit of information readers need to know about an accomplished woman worthy of an honorary degree is her number of children. The number of children that any of these degree recipients have is not relevant to the accomplishments that earned them the honorary degrees. And it’s appalling that the University Record publishes such different information about female and male degree recipients. The different emphasis in these write-ups is an editorial failure.

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