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Three to be honored with 2015 KU honorary degrees

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

(UPDATE 2/17/15: The committee members were originally posted incorrectly.)

(UPDATE 12/11/14: Due to health-related circumstances, Professor Greenberg will not be able to attend Commencement and receive an honorary degree.)

LAWRENCE – Three leaders in three very different fields will be honored for their contributions to our society during the University of Kansas’ 2015 Commencement.

Civil rights attorney Jack Greenberg, leader in nursing research Ada Sue Hinshaw and best-selling author Sara Paretsky will receive their honorary degrees May 17, 2015. The three were submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, and the Regents approved their nominations Oct. 15.

“Our three honorees demonstrate that the success of our society depends on contributions from individuals in a wide range of disciplines. Through their leadership, each of our honorees has made lasting contributions that improve our nation and world. No matter what disciplines our students are studying, they can look to these three individuals for inspiration,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

2015 University of Kansas honorary degree recipients:

For the degree of Doctor of Laws: Jack Greenberg, for the practice of law to end discrimination and promote social justice

For the degree of Doctor of Science: Ada Sue Hinshaw, for outstanding contributions to nursing science

For the degree of Doctor of Letters: Sara Paretsky, for outstanding contributions to the mystery writing field and American literature

Read biographies for the honorees here.

Nominations were sought from members of the KU community and beyond. These nominations were reviewed by a committee chaired by Susan Kemper (psychology and gerontology) and consisting of Edmund Russell (history), Steve Hawley, (physics & sstronomy), Richard Barohn, (neurology), Lisa Stehno-Bittel, (physical therapy), Judge Fred Six (representing KU alumni), and Tiffany Suekama (student).

KU awards honorary degrees based on nominees’ outstanding scholarship, research, creative activity, service to humanity or other achievements consistent with the academic endeavors of the university. Recipients do not need to be KU alumni, and philanthropic contributions to the university are not considered during the process.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times