2009 Honorary Degrees

These are the 2009 recipients of Honorary Degrees.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Juan Williams

Journalist, Senior Correspondent, and Political Analyst

Juan WilliamsJuan Williams, one of America’s leading journalists serving as National Public Radio’s senior correspondent and as a political analyst for the Fox News Channel, including regular appearances on Fox News Sunday.

During his 21-year career at The Washington Post, Juan Williams served as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist, and White House reporter. He has won an Emmy award for TV documentary writing and won widespread critical acclaim for a series of documentaries including “Politics - The New Black Power.”

Articles by Juan Williams have appeared in magazines such as Newsweek, Fortune, and The Atlantic Monthly. He has also appeared on numerous television programs, including Nightline, Washington Week in Review, Oprah, CNN's Crossfire (where he frequently served as co-host), and Capitol Gang Sunday. Juan Williams will deliver the CLA commencement address.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

Professor Emeritus of History

Dr. Bernice Johnson ReagonHonorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Bernice Johnson Reagon, who for more than 45 years has been a major cultural voice for freedom and justice – singing, teaching and speaking out against racism and organized inequities of all kinds.

She recently retired after 30 years of performing with Sweet Honey In The Rock, the internationally renowned a cappella ensemble she founded in 1973. She produced most of the groups recording including the Grammy nominated Still The Same Me.

Her work as a scholar and composer is reflected in numerous publications and productions on African American culture and history.

Dr. Reagon is professor emeritus of history at American University and was the recipient of the 2003 Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities for her work as a scholar and artist in African American cultural history and music.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Timothy Egan


Timothy EganTimothy Egan worked for 18 years as a writer for The New York Times, first as the Pacific Northwest correspondent, then as a national enterprise reporter. In 2006, Egan won the National Book Award, considered the nation’s highest literary honor, for his history of people who lived through the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time, which also became a New York Times bestseller. In 2001, he won the Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of reporters who wrote the series “How Race is Lived in America.” He has done special projects on the West and the decline of rural America, and he has followed the entire length of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Egan is the author of five books, including The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest, The Winemaker’s Daughter and Lasso the Wind, Away to the New West. A graduate of the University of Washington, Egan also holds an honorary doctorate of letters from Whitman College. A third-generation Westerner, Egan lives in Seattle.