May 12, 2008
Three leaders to receive honorary degrees
Xerox Corp. CEO Anne Mulcahy will be the Commencement speaker and will join alumnus and legal scholar Arthur Miller ’56 in receiving honorary degrees during the University’s graduation ceremony for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering on Sunday, May 18.
J. Peter Simon, cochairman of William E. Simon & Sons investment firm, will be awarded an honorary degree and give the address at Commencement ceremonies for the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration on June 8. Peter Simon is the son of the Simon School’s late benefactor, William E. Simon.
The College’s 158th Commencement ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. May 18 on the Eastman Quadrangle. The outdoor ceremony for candidates receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees is one of many academic ceremonies set throughout the weekend.
J. Peter Simon
The College ceremony also will include the presentation of the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal to G. Robert Witmer Jr. ’59, alumnus, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, and former Chairman of the management committee of Nixon Peabody, a nationally known law firm founded in Rochester. The Hutchison Medal is the highest honor given to alumni in recognition of outstanding achievements and service to community, state, or nation.
Miller, who will receive the honorary degree of doctor of laws, is one of the nation’s most distinguished legal scholars in the areas of civil litigation, copyright and unfair competition, and privacy. He is the author of more than 40 books and numerous articles, and was the Bruce Bromley Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he earned his law degree and taught for 36 years. A member of the Rochester Class of 1956, Miller is currently University Professor at New York University and the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. That professorship is conferred on outstanding scholars in recognition of the interdisciplinary dimension and breadth of their work.
G. Robert Witmer Jr. '59
One of only five women to run a Fortune 500 Company, Mulcahy’s success at Xerox has earned her numerous accolades. Mulcahy, who will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, began her career at Xerox in 1976. She took leadership of the corporation in 2001 and launched a companywide restructuring that slashed expenses and halved debt. At the same time, she protected research and development from cutbacks, allowing the company to introduce new products to drive future profits. A highly valued advisor, Mulcahy serves on the boards of directors for the Washington Post Co., Target Corp., and Catalyst.
Arthur Miller '56
Witmer, who will be awarded the Hutchison Medal, graduated in the Class of 1959. He earned his law degree at Harvard and has enjoyed a distinguished career at the Nixon Peabody firm. He has served as president of the New York State Bar Association, is a life member of the American Law Institute and a charter member of the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law. At the University, he has served as president of the Eastman Dental Center Board of Directors, chair of the Trustees’ Alumni Council of the College, chair of the University Alumni Council and was inducted into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame. Witmer has been a member of the University Board of Trustees since 1979.