Farmer Awarded Four Honorary Degrees
28 Jun 2010
Paul Farmer, Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine, received four honorary degrees this spring and gave four commencement addresses. The University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Pennsylvania each awarded the Honorary Doctor of Science degree to Dr. Farmer. Brandeis and Suffolk University College of Arts and Sciences each bestowed the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Dr. Farmer gave commencement addresses at Emmanuel College and Suffolk University, both in Boston, and the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences and Miller School of Medicine.
At Emmanuel College, Farmer addressed the ability of each graduate to become a hero in his or her own way. At the University of Miami School of Medicine, Dr. Farmer advised students: “Choose a path of medicine that will give you personal satisfaction for decades and if you lose your passion, do not be afraid to strike out on something new.” Citing the Miller School’s mission in Haiti, Farmer also asked the audience to “join me in thanking the University of Miami’s professionals who provided lifesaving care to thousands of injured Haitians in the aftermath of a devastating tragedy.” Dr. Farmer’s commencement address at Suffolk University is featured in a Boston Globe story, Suffolk Grads Urged to Muster Good Will.
In awarding the honorary doctorate, Brandeis cited Dr. Farmer as: “Physician, humanitarian, crusader for social justice and equity. Leader in the fight to bring quality medical care to millions who have been deprived of it. Throughout your life, beginning as a student working among the dispossessed of Haiti’s Central Plateau, you have dedicated your life to direct care, research, and advocacy on behalf of people living in poverty. The medicines you have delivered and the books you have written successfully challenge those who claim quality health care is impossible to deliver in resource-poor areas. The clinic you and your Partners In Health cofounders started in Haiti has grown to include a school, a hospital, specialized clinics for women and children, and much more. Partners In Health has expanded to nine other countries and become an international model for developing community-based treatment strategies that deliver quality care in a wide variety of difficult situations. With colleagues in Haiti and Peru, you have joined the international battle against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Your dedication has never wavered; today you are United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.
“For the breadth and depth of your commitment, Brandeis University is proud to bestow upon you its highest honor.”