Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Saturday, March 2, 2024
The Observer

University announces five additional honorary degree recipients

The commencement ceremony for the Notre Dame Class of 2023 will honor five “distinguished leaders in science, business, music and community service,” according to a University press release.

Along with commencement speaker Juan Manuel Santos, the honorees will be advocate for underrepresented students Howard G. Adams, singer-songwriter Amy Grant, doctor James O’Connell ‘70, Notre Dame trustee and retired executive James E. Rohr and South Bend community leader Marguerite Taylor.

Adams will be named honorary doctor of science. He headed a consortium headquartered at Notre Dame “credited with providing fellowships and internships that assisted 3,000 students from underrepresented backgrounds obtain advanced degrees in engineering and applied science,” the release said. He’s been appointed by presidents to national commissions and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 1995.

Grant has been dubbed the “Queen of Christian Pop” and was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2022. She’s receiving a honorary doctorate of fine arts, recognized for her extensive work in philanthropy.

O’Connell, who will receive an honorary doctorate of science, is the founding physician in 1985 of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. “Known as Doctor Jim on the streets of Boston,” O’Connell “has delivered health care to that city’s homeless population for almost four decades,” the release said.

Rohr, receiving an honorary doctorate of laws, is the former chief executive officer of the PNC Financial Services Group and has served on the Notre Dame board of trustees since 2010. The release points out that he “was the driving force behind Grow Up Great, PNC’s $500 million, multi-year, bilingual program that helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for school and life.”

Taylor is being awarded an honorary doctorate of laws. She “was instrumental in establishing the University’s Robinson Community Learning Center,” and has worked at the center for many years. Taylor “has dedicated her life to improving her hometown of South Bend and building lasting relationships between the city and Notre Dame” and was inducted into the South Bend Community Hall of Fame in 2011.