June 7, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 18

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    Honorary degrees to be given to three scholars

    At the University’s 465th Convocation on Friday, June 8, three scholars will be presented with honorary degrees. The University confers honorary degrees exclusively in recognition of research and scholarship to individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields of study.

    On Friday, June 8, during Session II of Spring Convocation, John Bercaw will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science, and Walter Burkert and Fredric Jameson will each receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

    Bercaw, professor in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, is a pioneer in the study of organometallic reactions and catalysis by early transition-metal complexes. His recent studies on hydrocarbon oxidation using platinum complexes represent the search for understanding the selective functionalization of alkanes––one of modern chemistry’s most challenging chemical problems.

    Burkert, professor emeritus in classics at the University of Zurich, is renowned for his expertise in ancient Greek religion. Moving beyond the scholarship of many gifted classicists who had completed research in the field before him, Burkert rejuvenated the field of ancient Greek religion by applying new paradigms and pursuing research into new areas.

    Jameson, the William A. Lane Jr. professor of comparative literature, romance studies and chair of the literature program at Duke University, is a scholar of modernism, Third World literature and cinema, Marx and Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the modern French novel and cinema.

    His academic interests include analyzing literature as an encoding of political and social imperatives and the interpretation of modernist and postmodernist assumptions through a rethinking of Marxist methodology.