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Russert, three others to receive honorary degrees

<#IMAGE:1#>At the university’s 135th commencement exercises on Monday, May 19, which begins at 9 a.m. at Goodman Stadium, Gregory Farrington, Lehigh president, will confer an honorary doctorate degree upon Tim Russert, moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, who will deliver the commencement address.

Also receiving honorary degrees are: Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Nussbaum will also deliver the baccalaureate address at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 18, in Packer Memorial Church; Pricilla Payne Hurd, a devoted patron of local institutions of higher education and chair of the Board of Trustees of Moravian College; and Marlene "Linny" Fowler, philanthropist and artist.

In addition to serving as moderator of Meet the Press, Russert is the political analyst for NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and the Today Show. In addition, he anchors The Tim Russert Show, a weekly program on CNBC that examines the role of the media in American society. Russert is also the senior vice president and Washington bureau chief for NBC News, and a contributing anchor for MSNBC.

In 2001, The Washingtonian magazine named Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, D.C. His "Decision 2000" interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore won the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association’s highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in journalism, and the USC Annenberg Center’s Walter Cronkite Award.

Russert is a trustee of the Freedom Forum’s Newseum, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club, and America’s Promise-Alliance for Youth. In 1995, the National Father’s Day Committee named Russert "Father of the Year" and Parents magazine honored him as "Dream Dad" in 1998. He is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He is admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

Nussbaum, a New York University graduate who holds her doctorate from Harvard, is a prolific author and "public intellectual" whom the New York Times described as "the most prominent female philosopher in America." Trained in classical philology, Nussbaum has written more than 200 articles and published numerous path-breaking, widely honored books, including The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy; Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination in Public Life; For Love of Country: A Debate on Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism, Sex and Social Justice; and Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach.

She is the recipient of more than two dozen honorary degrees, and has served as president of the American Philosophical Association, central division; is a member of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and is recipient of numerous honors and prizes for both scholarship and teaching. Her book, Cultivating Humanity, earned the prestigious Grawemeyer Prize in Education, as well as the Frederic W. Ness Book Award, and Sex and Social Justice received the 2000 North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award. She has delivered more than 40 named or endowed lectures around the world, including the prestigious Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1993, which was published in 2001 as Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions.

Hurd’s lifelong devotion to learning is demonstrated in her steadfast service to local institutions of higher education, including her role as chair of the board of trustees of Moravian College, where she helped to create the Priscilla Payne Hurd Center for Music and Art, the Frank E. and Seba B. Payne Gallery and the Priscilla Payne Hurd Chair in the Arts and Humanities. She also established an endowment fund at Allentown College, now DeSales University, known as the Daniel Gambet Enrichment Fund.

In 1991 Hurd became the first woman to chair the board of trustees of St. Luke’s Hospital, having served on the board since 1982. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her service, including the YWCA’s Golden Laurel Award; the Rotary Club of Bethlehem’s Paul Harris Fellow Award; and the Allentown Arts Commission’s Arts Recognition Award. In 1996, the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce introduced the Priscilla Payne Hurd Award to recognize the impact and influence of an individual upon the enhancement of life in the Bethlehem community through the arts, education or health care. Hurd is a graduate of the Madeira School, Finch College and the University of Chicago, and a 1943 graduate of the New York School of Radio Technique. In the 1950s, Hurd produced and directed a weekly radio show, "UN Calling You," from Lehigh University. In addition to her work in radio, she was a columnist for the Bloomington Indiana Tribune.

Fowler has served on numerous boards for more than 30 years, with special emphasis on education, children and at-risk youth; and the Latino community. She currently sits on the boards of Valley Youth House and the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, and is a former board member of Center City Ministries. Her present community activities include volunteer efforts for the Project Child Hotline, a child abuse prevention hotline. She is a member of Quota Club, a past president of the Lehigh University Women’s Club, and a deacon at First Presbyterian Church.

Fowler, a co-owner of Fowler & Pena Creations, a stained glass business creating both private and commercial work and a studio artist at the Banana Factory, is the recipient of numerous awards for her philanthropy and service. Her philanthropy can be seen in various institutions throughout the Lehigh Valley. Among her donations are the Fowler Education Center at Banana Factory (formerly Bethlehem Musikfest Association) and the Fowler Family Medical Museum at St. Luke’s Hospital. She holds a B.A. in biology from Skidmore College. Fowler is the wife of retired Lehigh professor of physics, Beall Fowler. Together they have four children and 11 grandchildren.

Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003

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