About two months ago, President Michael Roth sent out an email to the entire campus announcing the honorary degree recipients for 2014, as well as the commencement speaker for the Class of 2014. This year’s commencement address will be given by Theodore M. Shaw ’76, a leading proponent of civil rights, previous Wesleyan trustee (twice!), and also a prior recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wesleyan. You can read the entirety of Roth’s email below.
Shaw’s dedication and work to civil rights and human rights is indeed impressive. Currently a professor at Columbia University, where he also received his J.D. in 1979, he was previously an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for over two decades. What’s most notable about Shaw’s work—that perhaps most directly affects us as college students—was his involvement in creating University of Michigan Law School’s controversial affirmative action policy in the early 2000s, something that has been controversial again just last month.