Honorary Degree Citations

May 22, 2016

Jump to: Lars Peter Hansen | Arianna Huffington | Valerie Jarrett | Edison T. Liu


Lars Peter Hansen

2016 05 21 Colby Commencement-69Honorary Degree Citation

Though clearly among the most gifted theoretical economists in generations, you remain grounded in real-world concerns: how macroeconomic theories play out in actual financial markets and stock prices, how uncertainty and human nature factor in predicting future behaviors, how theory can improve public policy. Your groundbreaking Generalized Method of Moments Estimation has transformed economic modeling, and its utility has been evident in many other disciplines. Your analytic work on asset pricing led to your Nobel Memorial Prize, yet it is only one among many areas where you have been recognized internationally for your scholarly contributions. Today we also recognize your deep commitment to teaching and to educating the next generation of economists.   

By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Lars Peter Hansen, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma are the visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars.

Conferred May 22, 2016

More about Lars Peter Hansen

Winner of the 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, Lars Peter Hansen is the David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, Statistics and the College at the University of Chicago, where he is also director of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. He is a leading expert in economic dynamics who works at the boundaries of macroeconomics, finance, and econometrics. Among his research interests are methods for pricing the exposure to macroeconomic shocks over alternative investment horizons and implications of the pricing of long-term uncertainty. Hansen, who earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Minnesota, has won prestigious prizes including the 2010 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management; the 2008 CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications; the 2006 Nemmers Prize in Economics; and the 1984 Frisch Prize Medal with Kenneth J. Singleton. A fellow and former president of the Econometric Society, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on the editorial board of Econometrica for 11 years and has chaired the thesis committees of 61 Ph.D. candidates.


Arianna Huffington

2016 05 21 Colby Commencement-66

Honorary Degree Citation

As a new media pioneer, a globe-circling analyst of world events, and a prolific and best-selling author, you are a perpetual motion phenomenon on an endless tour to help us understand the world we live in and the human condition in the 21st century. You have created and led what has been called “the most powerful blog in the world” and one of the most-often-cited sources of information in this information age. Your editorial mandate is oceanic, your view is all-encompassing, and your stamina is remarkable as you continue to set the pace in an Internet news environment that you helped to invent.

By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Arianna Huffington, the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma are the visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars.

Conferred May 22, 2016

More about Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is cofounder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and the author of 15 books. In May 2005 she launched the Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely read, linked to, and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012 the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She has been named to TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list and Forbes’s list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21 she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including the Center for Public Integrity and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Her 15th book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time, on the science, history and mystery of sleep, was published in April 2016 and became an instant New York Times bestseller.


Valerie Jarrett

Honorary Degree Citation

A business leader, public servant, and architect of a national agenda to support equality of opportunity, you have shaped policies crucial to the American Dream. You have focused your extraordinary capabilities and your deep concern for bettering the lives of all Americans on some of the most important social causes and needs of our era. Your success building coalitions and consensus reached the national stage through the White House, where your influence and contributions have provided grist for the mills of historians and political scientists for generations to come.  

By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Valerie Jarrett, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma are the visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars.

Conferred May 21, 2016

More about Valerie Jarrett

Senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls. She has mobilized elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates to improve access to the middle class, to boost American businesses and the economy, and to champion equality and opportunity for all Americans. Jarrett has helped President Obama develop a broad coalition to champion efforts to end sexual assault, to raise the minimum wage, to empower working American families and women around the world, and to promote entrepreneurship and early childhood education. She earned her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and was previously CEO of the Habitat Company in Chicago, chair of the Chicago Transit Board, and a senior administrator for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as director for corporations and nonprofits in roles including chair of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.


Edison T. Liu

2016 05 21 Colby Commencement-72

Honorary Degree Citation

A trailblazer in the sciences of cancer biology and genomics, you are also a preternatural leader. Managing—and in some cases creating from scratch—some of the world’s most advanced research institutes, you have fostered communities where gifted people are eager to join your lifelong quest to better the human condition. Your visionary melding of the arts and sciences makes you an exemplar of innovation and creativity, and you now lead the renowned Jackson Laboratory both as president and by example, pursuing your own research into the functional genomics of breast cancer through an exploration of the entire genomic space.

By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Edison Liu, the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma are the visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars.

Conferred May 22, 2016

More about Edison T. Liu

An authority in translational medicine, molecular oncology, and functional genomics, Edison T. Liu has led several of the world’s leading research institutes, including the Jackson Laboratory, which he joined as president and CEO in 2012. The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit organization focused on complex mammalian genetics research in order to advance human health. Liu earned B.A. and M.D. degrees from Stanford University and previously served as president of the Human Genome Organization, founding executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore, and scientific director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Clinical Sciences. His own research focuses on the functional genomics of human cancers, particularly breast cancer; uncovering new oncogenes; and deciphering the dynamics of gene regulation on a genomic scale. The author of two books and hundreds of scientific papers and reviews, he also writes on science, medicine, and society for lay audiences, composes music, and plays jazz piano.

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