Pictured prior to Commencement are UD President Patrick Harker (left) and Gil Sparks (right), chairman of the UD Board of Trustees, with honorary degree recipients (from left) Soledad O'Brien, Simmie Knox and Donald J. Puglisi.

Honorary degrees

University confers honorary degrees on O'Brien, Knox, Puglisi, Rudenstine

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3:57 p.m., May 26, 2012--Four distinguished individuals were recognized with honorary degrees at the University of Delaware's 163rd Commencement ceremonies, held May 26 at Delaware Stadium.

"The Honorary Degree is the highest honor bestowed by the University of Delaware and is reserved as a recognition of true distinction," said Gil Sparks, chairman of the University's Board of Trustees. "It is my pleasure to bestow this honor on four outstanding individuals who make up the University’s Honorary Degree Class of 2012."

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Honorees and their degrees are:

Simmie Knox, UD alumnus and renowned artist who painted the official White House portrait of President Bill Clinton, doctor of fine arts.

Soledad O'Brien, award winning broadcast journalist and anchor of the CNN morning show Starting Point, and Commencement speaker, doctor of humane letters.

Donald J. Puglisi, UD MBNA America Professor Emeritus of Business, businessman and philanthropist, doctor of humanities.

Angelica Zander Rudenstine, internationally renowned advocate for museums and art conservation and former program officer with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, doctor of humanities.

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape

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