HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS
Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow awarded Mary Oliver an honorary degree during the University's 152nd Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 18, 2008.
[ Biography | Honorary Degree ]
Mary Oliver, like the natural world that inspires you, your work evokes wonder. You have long been honored as one of America’s most distinguished poets. You early gained acclaim for revealing nature’s brilliance, awakening our senses and enlivening our minds with intense and exquisite imagery. You have gone on to share with your readers a boundless journey of discovery and self-discovery. With the passage of time, your work has gained in personal resonance, and you have let us experience through your clear-eyed vision both loss and love. The great poetic tradition of American transcendentalism finds in you its contemporary voice, for you have explored deeply, and expressed eloquently, the connection between the worlds of natural and spiritual experience. You have also shared generously with aspiring writers the talents that have won you the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; your passion for the written word has informed your distinguished teaching at Bennington College and elsewhere, as well as your guides to the writing of poetry. Mary Oliver, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Tufts University and to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
Photo by Louie Palu for University Photography
This story originally ran on May 18, 2008.