Conferred November 15, 1985
Colby College is proud to honor you, Mary McGrory, in this your 25th year as a nationally syndicated columnist. Through this quarter century yours has been a constant voice unswayed by the fad of the moment and which showed the courage to stand against the wind.
You have given us a moral vision of what a better world could be and colleagues say that you have aligned yourself with the goodness of man; that you love the moral condition. Benjamin Bradlee, executive editor of The Washington Post, describes you as having “an angel’s eyes, all seeing and compassionate,” with instincts that are “true and fine.”
You have applied your journalistic craft with The Boston Herald, The Washington Star and, since 1981, The Washington Post. Your debut as a national commentator came in 1954, when you were assigned to the biggest story of the day, the Army-McCarthy hearings. Your columns now appear thrice weekly in more than 150 newspapers across the nation.
When the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, one of journalism’s most prestigious honors, was awarded to you in 1975, it recognized your “trenchant commentary as a reporter and columnist in the nation’s capital.” You also won the George Polk Memorial Award for national reporting in 1963, hold more than a dozen Front Page Awards from the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, and have been a Fellow of the national journalism fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, since 1973.
You write about the personal dimension of what you see, be it a ride on a bus in Nicaragua, or the argyle socks of a candidate for federal office. That you are without pretensions is reflected by the special place that children have occupied in your life.
On this occasion coinciding with the 183rd anniversary of the birth of Elijah Parish Lovejoy, martyr to the free press, his College and your newspaper peers take special pride in honoring you as the 33rd Lovejoy Fellow for your like courage, compassion, and ability to point us to what is true and good.