Honor Recognizes Impact of Leadership at UMBC and Beyond
Chelsea Haddaway, UMBC
May 27, 2010 – UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, is among 10 national and world leaders recognized with honorary degrees at Harvard University’s Commencement exercises in Cambridge, Massachusetts today.
Hrabowski, who has served as UMBC’s president since 1992, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard in recognition of his inspirational leadership of UMBC’s rise as a new model for American higher education and a premier training ground for the next generation of researchers and scholars. Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust hailed Hrabowski as “a galvanic force in his university’s ascent.”
Among the other honorands at Harvard this year are retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, former Howard Hughes Medical Institute President Thomas Cech and actress Meryl Streep.
“The respect our colleagues at Harvard have for UMBC as a research university is clear,” Hrabowski said. “This honor reflects on the work of a campus community that celebrates the life of the mind and believes that students from all backgrounds will excel when expected to do so and when given support.” UMBC consistently sends its graduates on to graduate and professional programs and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard in fields ranging from medicine and science to law and public policy.
Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He currently chairs the National Academies’ Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Science & Engineering Workforce Pipeline.
He has authored numerous articles and co-authored two books, “Beating the Odds” and “Overcoming the Odds” (Oxford University Press), focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science. Both books are used by universities, school systems and community groups around the country.
In 2008, Hrabowski was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, which in 2009 ranked UMBC the #1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation and fourth among all colleges and universities in the nation for commitment to undergraduate teaching. In 2009, Time Magazine named him one of “America’s 10 Best College Presidents.”
He serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Academies. He also serves on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Chair) and The Urban Institute.
Hrabowski also holds honorary degrees from more than a dozen institutions, including Princeton, Duke, Haverford College, the University of Michigan and Georgetown University.