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March 26, 2008


Two Scholars to Receive Honorary Degrees in April

The month of April, notoriously a busy time as the OWU community prepares for Commencement and the end of the academic year, also will include visits from two distinguished guests who will receive honorary degrees.

Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies and Director of the Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University, will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters on Wednesday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center Benes room. Teacher, scholar, and author of numerous books, including her recently published History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving, Lipstadt authored the first scholarly study of Holocaust denial, which identified several people including British historian David Irving, who claimed that no documents exist to show that there ever was a Holocaust. After her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory was published, Irving sued Lipstadt for libel. Her victorious six-year legal battle validated the truthful record of one of the most abhorrent time periods in history. Following the honorary degree presentation, Lipstadt will share her thoughts with members of the OWU community.
Deborah Lipstadt
Dr. Ali Mazrui is the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He also is the Albert Luthli Professor-at-large at the University of Jos in Nigeria. A prolific author, scholar, and teacher, Mazrui is widely consulted on many issues, including constitutional change and educational reform. He has been involved in many United Nations projects on matters ranging from human rights to nuclear proliferation and is well known for his BBC and PBS television series, “The Africans: A Triple Heritage.” In 2005, he received Kenya’s highest honor of excellence for scholars: Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear. He also was OWU’s Black World Studies and Sagan National Colloquium speaker in 2005, as part of the “United States and the Islamic World: Challenges and Prospects” theme. Mazrui will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters on Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center Benes room and then will present a lecture on “The United States as a Universal Nation: Between the Islamic Crescent and the Star-Spangled Banner.”
Ali Mazrui

– Pam Besel