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Thursday, April 26, 2012 - Humanitarian and social activist to receive honorary degree
By Katie Land, news editor

This spring, Oakland University will bestow the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities to humanitarian and social activist Grace Lee Boggs. The distinguished honor recognizes her lifelong commitment, compassion and work to improve the lives of others.  

“Oakland University is pleased to honor Ms. Boggs for her exceptional character and philosophy of constant questioning, and of continual learning,” said Oakland University President Gary Russi. 

“She has dedicated her life to the pursuit of social activism and collaboration with others for the betterment of individuals and the community as a whole. As an author, activist and teacher, Ms. Boggs has worked tirelessly for the rights of others, including women and minorities, for more than 70 years.”

Soon to be 97 years old, Boggs has had a lasting, positive impact on communities in the Detroit metropolitan region. Her work for social justice and efforts on behalf of the labor and civil rights movements have been complemented by the intellectual contributions she has made through her written works. These include her book, “Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century,” as well as regular columns in the “Michigan Citizen.” 

Among her many honors, Boggs has received two lifetime achievement awards from the Detroit City Council and the Michigan Women’s Federation; she was named Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News; she received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Barnard College, and is in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.
“Ms. Boggs’ work has contributed to material changes in the lives of working men, women and children in the Detroit Metropolitan area,” Oakland University Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Virinder Moudgil said, “It is an honor to recognize a very distinguished civic leader and a scholar par excellence.”  

The honorary degree is a distinction that the university awards from time to time to reaffirm its scholarly, creative and humanitarian values, and to recognize ties from the university to the community at large. The university’s Board of Trustees was unanimous in its support of Boggs for the coveted recognition. 

Boggs will receive her honorary degree as part of Oakland University's spring 2012 commencement ceremonies.