Say Hello to Johns Hopkins’ Impressive Honorary Degree Recipients

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You have to be pretty special to get a degree from Johns Hopkins, which means you have to be extra special to be deemed worthy of an honorary degree. This year’s recipients are a laudable bunch, including a Baltimore politician, distinguished musicians, and a public health hero.

Here are the seven men and women who will receive honorary degrees at the university’s May 21 commencement:

  • Marin Alsop, director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the first woman to lead a major U.S. symphony.
  • Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney, animation hero, and this year’s commencement speaker.
  • Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore native and longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key advisor to the White House on global HIV/AIDS issues.
  • Leon Fleisher, an acclaimed pianist and Peabody professor whose struggles with a disease that crippled his right hand were the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary short. Fleisher continues to perform today.
  • William “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland and former president of the University of Maryland-College Park.
  • Anthony Deering, the chair of Exeter Capital and former chair/CEO of the Rouse Company.
  • Lynne Deering, an arts philanthropist who sits on the board of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Center Stage, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, among others.


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