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Two honorary-degree recipients chosen for commencement ceremonies

2/25/2009 | Phil Ciciora, News Editor | 217-333-2177;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Two people have been chosen to receive honorary degrees during the 138th commencement of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 17 at the Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., Champaign.

The speaker has not been announced.

The honorary-degree recipients:

Suze Orman, Emmy Award-winner, best-selling author, TV host and philanthropist, the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Suze Orman, called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today, has won two Emmys and is the author of seven consecutive New York Times best-selling books. A magazine and online columnist, as well as a writer and producer, she is a sought-after motivational speaker and a leading expert on personal finance.

In May 2008, Orman was named to the TIME 100, the magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people. She also was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign.

Orman is a contributing editor for the Costco Connection magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine. She hosts “The Suze Orman Show” on CNBC and on Sirius XM radio.

Orman is the most successful fundraiser in the history of public television and has won more Gracies than anyone in the 32-year history of the awards, which recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of electronic media, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry. Orman grew up on the South Side of Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at Illinois.

Carl Schramm, president and chief executive officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the honorary degree of doctor of business.

Hailed by The Economist magazine as the “evangelist of entrepreneurship,” Schramm has raised awareness around the world of the central role that the entrepreneurial process plays in economies and societies.

Trained as an economist and lawyer, he has pushed for including entrepreneurship in the curricula of many of the nation’s colleges and universities. The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership on the Urbana campus was made possible by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation under his leadership.

Schramm’s recent books, “Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism,” with Robert Litan and William Baumol, and “The Entrepreneurial Imperative,” are regarded as emerging classics, providing new insight into American and international economies. Schramm’s work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, and many academic journals. He is a contributing editor of Inc. magazine.

In 2007, Schramm was appointed chairperson of the Department of Commerce’s Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century Economic Advisory Committee.

Schramm earned a master’s and a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

“These individuals, one of whom is an Illinois graduate, have made an impact on society to which all our graduates should aspire,” said Richard Herman, the chancellor of the Urbana campus. “While we are honoring them, they in turn honor us with their presence at graduation.”

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