Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and former president ofBrownUniversity, will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Notre Dames 160 th Commencement exercises May 15 (Sunday). The ceremony will begin at2 p.m.in theJoyceCenterarena on campus.
In all his many roles in public life, Dr. Gregorian has displayed extraordinary leadership,said Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., Notre Dames president.I am personally pleased that he has accepted the invitation to address our graduates, and I know that his remarks will be an ideal capstone for their educational experiences on our campus.
Gregorian has served in his current position since 1997. Established in 1911, the Carnegie Corporation seeks to carry out founder Andrew Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy, which he said should aimto do real and permanent good in the world.It awards grants totaling approximately $80 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengtheningU.S.democracy.
From 1989 to 1997, Gregorian served as the 16th president of Brown. While teaching freshmen and senior history seminars and a course on Alexis de Tocqueville, he also led capital campaigns that helped triple the endowment.
Born in Iran of Armenian parents, Gregorian received his elementary education in his home country and his secondary education inLebanon. He was enrolled atStanfordUniversityin 1956 and earned his bachelors degree in history and the humanities in 1958. He continued his graduate education at Stanford and earned a doctorate in history and the humanities in 1964.
Gregorian taught European and Middle Eastern history for eight years at San Francisco State College, UCLA and theUniversityofTexas. He then accepted a chaired appointment in history at theUniversityofPennsylvania, where he later served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and as provost.
Before his appointment at Brown, Gregorian served for eight years as president of the New York Public Library and is credited with pulling it out of financial crisis.
Gregorian is the author ofEmergence of Modern Afghanistan: Politics of Reform and Modernization, 1880-1946,Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith,and his autobiography,The Road to Home.He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and other scholarly organizations, and is a fellow of theAmericanAcademyof Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
A recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Gregorian twice has been honored byU.S.presidents – in 1998 by President Clinton with the National Humanities Medal, and last year by President Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civil award.
Gregorian serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including Human Rights Watch and theMuseumofModern Art, and he has been awarded some 50 honorary degrees.