Chadwick Boseman — or, as we can soon call him, Doctor Chadwick Boseman — will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Howard University, the historically Black university announced in a press release today. Boseman, who graduated from Howard University before attending the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford, will also deliver the 2018 commencement speech at the university. Other honorary recipients this year, which marks the 150th Commencement Convocation at Howard University on May 12th, include Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., Colbert I. King, and Gwendolyn S. King.
“Our 2018 honorary degree recipients are individuals who have reached great success in their respective professional fields. Each honoree embodies the spirit and aspiration that guides Howard’s mission of excellence in truth and service,” said Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “As we celebrate our 150th commencement convocation, we embrace and recognize the contributions Mr. Boseman, Dr. Pinn, Mrs. and Mr. King have made both within and outside of the University. They have dedicated their talents and lives to improving the world around them — and for that we honor them.”
From the press release, here’s some information on the other recipients:
Vivian W. Pinn will receive an honorary Doctor of Science. Pinn was the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at NIH, and was associate director for research on women’s health (NIH). She held these positions from 1991 until her retirement in 2011. During that time, she established and co-chaired the NIH Committee on Women in Biomedical Careers with the NIH Director. Since her retirement, she has been named as a senior scientist emerita at the NIH Fogarty International Center. Pinn came to the NIH from the Howard University College of Medicine where she had been professor and chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982, the third woman in the United States to hold such an appointment. She was honored by the College of Medicine as one of its “Magnificent Professors” in 2014.
Colbert I. King will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. King writes a weekly column that runs in The Washington Post. In 2003, King won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his against-the-grain columns that speak to people in power with ferocity and wisdom.” King joined the Post’s editorial board in 1990 and served for several years as deputy editorial page editor. Earlier in his career, he was an executive vice president of Riggs National Bank, U.S. executive director of the World Bank, a deputy assistant secretary at the Treasury Department, Democratic staff director of the U.S. Senate’s District of Columbia Committee, a State Department diplomat stationed at the U.S. embassy in Bonn, Germany, and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Adjutant General’s Corps. King grew up in Washington. He is married to Gwendolyn King, whom he met at Howard University while they were both undergraduates.
Gwendolyn Stewart King will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. She is president of Podium Prose, a speaker’s bureau and speechwriting service in Washington, D.C. Prior to the launch of the company, King was senior vice president of corporate and public affairs for PEPCO Energy Co. (now known as Exelon) until her retirement in 1998. From 1989 to 1992, she served as the eleventh Commissioner of Social Security. She held high-level U.S. government appointments in inter-governmental affairs, women’s business enterprise and Social Security from President Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. King graduated cum laude from Howard University and has received the Alumni Award for Postgraduate Achievement. In 2008, she and her husband established the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University.