Tufts University

David W. Burke

Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow awarded David W. Burke an honorary degree during the University's 153rd Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 17, 2009.

[ Biography | Honorary Degree ]

Commencement 2009

David Burke, you are all that we hope a Tufts graduate would be. You have moved easily between the public and private sectors, distinguishing yourself as a trusted advisor to Presidents, Senators, and Governors, and also as an enlightened business leader. After serving on President John F. Kennedy’s Labor Advisory Council, you went to work for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, eventually becoming his chief of staff and advisor on critical issues from civil rights to Vietnam. After pioneering the development of socially responsible investing at the Dreyfus Corporation, you returned to public service, as Governor Hugh Carey’s chief of staff, playing a critical role in rescuing New York City from the brink of bankruptcy in 1976. Commenting on your role, Mario Cuomo said, “New Yorkers ought to celebrate David Burke’s birthday every year.” In an equally rich second career, you helped shape the glory days of network television news. As vice president of ABC News, your commitment to talented journalists made that network’s evening show the most watched newscast in America. As president of CBS News, you fought fiercely for the highest journalistic standards. Throughout your career, you have set benchmarks for honesty and integrity. Always loyal to your alma mater, you have created opportunities for Tufts graduates in journalism, business, and politics. For all you have done, and do to make the world a better place, it is a delight to present to you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Photo by for University Photography

This story originally ran on May 17, 2009.