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Monday, July 24, 2017




2017 honorary degree recipients




Lisa Lynch

University Provost Lisa Lynch serves as the University’s chief academic officer as well as the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy. Lynch previously served as interim University president from July 2015 through June 2016 and prior to that was the dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Outside academia, Lynch worked as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and as the chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. As an undergraduate, she studied economics and political science at Wellesley College, and she earned her Master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics at the London School of Economics, according to her profile on the Brandeis website.

Leslie Lamport

After studying mathematics and earning two graduate degrees from Brandeis, computer scientist Leslie Lamport MA ’63 Ph.D.’72 became known as “the father of principled distributed computing.” In 2013, Lamport won the A.M. Turing Award for “fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of distributed and concurrent systems,” according to the A.M. Turing website. Lamport also wrote the highly cited research paper titled “Time, Clocks and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System,” which he published in 1978.

Rosalie Silberman Abella

Rosalie Silberman Abella is a Canadian Supreme Court justice and renowned expert on human-rights law who contributed to the creation of the concept of “employment equity.” After receiving a Bachelor of Law from the University of Toronto, Abella practiced civil and criminal law from 1972 through 1976. She then became a jurist on the Ontario Family Court at age 29, the youngest of anyone appointed to Canada’s judiciary. Abella was also the first pregnant person appointed to the courts. Later, in 2004, Abella became the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition to her work on the judiciary, Abella has written more than 90 articles and contributed to four books.

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick is chair of the advisory board of Our Generation Speaks, a fellowship program designed to use entrepreneurship to foster a better rapport between Israelis and Palestinians. The program partners with Brandeis and MassChallenge to work with young Israeli and Palestinian leaders to create jobs and attempt to improve relations between the two communities. Prior to his work at Our Generation Speaks, Patrick was the first African-American governor of Massachusetts and was elected to two terms, serving from 2007 to 2015. Patrick’s education includes Milton Academy, Harvard College and Harvard Law School. 

Barry Shrage

Barry Shrage has served since 1987 as the president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, which “focuses on developing Jewish education and engaging future generations, [as well as] building connections to Israel,” according to an April 4 Brandeis press release. Under Shrage’s leadership, the organization has invested $1.1 million in the Jewish community not only in Greater Boston but also in the larger world. In response to the 2008 recession, Shrage also contributed to the development of CJP’s Economic Response, which aimed to provide resources “to meet the needs of the Boston area’s most vulnerable,” according to the same press release.


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