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Conferred November 7, 1958
Graduate of the University of Tennessee, with honorary degrees from Little Rock College, Arkansas College, and the University of Arkansas, you have been cited by the American Library Association for your fruitful efforts in promoting the welfare of libraries throughout your state and your effective support of legislation helpful to the development and maintenance of library facilities. But it is for the heroism that made possible your newspaper's forthright stand on behalf of responsible journalism that you have recently become widely known.
Your paper, the ARKANSAS GAZETTE, has received a Pulitzer Prize for its willingness to maintain an unpopular position in face of mounting tension in the integration crisis. Last year, you yourself were awarded the modal and citation of the Syracuse University School of Journalism for distinguished service, and earlier this year the first annual award of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was conferred upon you for singular journalistic performance in the public interest.
Now, in the week in which your own 86th birthday has occurred and on the day that marks the 121st anniversary of the death of its own courageous publisher, Elijah Parish Lovejoy, Colby College names you its Lovejoy Fellow of the Year and in the presence of faculty and students honors you for your fidelity, your integrity, and your conspicuous courage.
By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College I confer upon you, JOHN NETHERLAND HEISKELL, the Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma which I place in your hand are the visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars, to all the rights and privileges of which I declare you entitled.