Conferred November 13, 2002

Daniel Pearl, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and friend; talented musician; gifted reporter and writer; champion of truth and advocate of justice, we honor your memory here tonight. As a reporter you enlightened readers on a range of subjects as broad as your talents. Your stories–on topics ranging from the Taliban to child beauty pageants in Georgia, from ethnic discrimination in Croatia to the world’s largest Persian carpet–illuminated far corners of the world, bridging great distances and even greater cultural divides. Your penchant for music–classical violin or folk-inflected mandolin and fiddle–provided a universal language that made connections across divides that words could not span.
As the title of the new volume of your stories proclaims, you were “At Home in the World.” Your passionate commitment to truth, your abiding search for knowledge, your courage in the pursuit of understanding, and your exemplary humanity earned you the respect and gratitude of your nation. Those who took your life hoped to kill that for which you stood; instead, they inspired a worldwide effort to promote your ideals and to honor your memory. Just as Elijah Parish Lovejoy’s death failed to extinguish his candle and instead fanned the flames of abolition, justice, and freedom of the press, so too your untimely death ignited a wildfire and spread your message of understanding, hope, and reconciliation. Colby has never been prouder to add a name–the name of Daniel Pearl–to the list of distinguished journalists who, in word and in deed, in life and in death, have upheld the ideals for which we revere Lovejoy.