Gifted analyst of policy and politics, winning campaign strategist, you have become an evangelist for public service. As a journalist you used penetrating analysis to illuminate politics at its most inspiring and corrosive. As an advisor you counseled world leaders and political parties at home and abroad, molding policies for governing. And now you ignite in young people a passion for participation in politics and public service. Your work has shaped the world and its leaders and your mission to promote a vital, healthy democracy encourages civic engagement that points to a better future.
Proud daughter of Aroostook County, Maine, tireless advocate for bipartisan compromise, you stand for how politics and governance should work in a civil society committed to democratic ideals. Your policy acumen is formidable, and the depth of your concern for the American people and those you represent in Maine is signaled in your legislative accomplishments. Colby, the alma mater of your great aunt, Clara Collins Piper, who graduated a century ago when few colleges admitted women, is proud to add you to the ranks of our alumnae.
Discerning portraitist, distinguished sociologist, you have opened our understanding to lives too long left unexplored, to concepts and institutions central to civic life and our humanity. Your elegant, powerful explorations inspire and challenge us to listen for the dissenting voice, to see order in the chaos of personal interactions. Your teaching has influenced generations of scholars and teachers, policymakers and leaders, who carry with them your exacting standards and your nuanced appreciation for how to nurture lives of meaning and purpose.
Robert J. Zimmer
Revealing connections between lie groups and ergodic theory, you have made major contributions to topology and geometry. Leading mathematicians in various fields have been inspired by the Zimmer Program, named for your groundbreaking work. Where others see barriers, you see connections—an ability that also defines your achievements as president of the University of Chicago. In this stunning second career, you have led a venerable institution to become a modern force and a destination for global scholarship and education of enduring quality.