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Honorary degree recipients chosen for U. of I. commencement ceremonies May 15

Jeff Unger, News Bureau


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Five people have been chosen to receive honorary degrees during the 134rd commencement of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 15 at the Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., Champaign.

The speaker has not yet been announced.

The honorary-degree recipients:

Archie Clemins, the president of Caribou Technologies Inc., Boise, Idaho, and former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet; honorary degree of doctor of engineering. A four-star admiral when he retired from the Navy in 1999, Clemins received a U. of I. Alumni Achievement Award in 1998. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with six gold stars, and the Meritorious Service Medal. He is a consultant for major integrators and technology companies in the United States and Asia, and he advises the Department of Defense on classified programs; serves on the board of several start-up companies and the governor of Idaho’s Science and Technology Advisory Board. He formerly lived in Urbana and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at the U. of I.

Hanke Gratteau, associate managing editor, Chicago Tribune; honorary degree of doctor of letters.

Gratteau, who began her journalism career in 1975 working for the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mike Royko, has won numerous awards for her work as a reporter, including the 1993 William H. Jones Award for Investigative Reporting and the Golden Bell Award of the Mental Health Association of Illinois for outstanding coverage of mental health issues.

“A special claim to fame for Gratteau was editing the investigative project, ‘Gateway to Gridlock,’ an examination of congestion in the nation’s commercial air travel system, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism,” wrote U. of I. journalism professor Bill Gaines in his letter nominating Gratteau for the honorary degree.

John Houbolt, retired chief aeronautical scientist and consultant, NASA Langley Research Center; honorary degree of doctor of engineering.

Houbolt, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and native of Joliet, Ill., is internationally known for his ability to provide simple solutions to complex problems, making use of his expertise and experience in structural dynamics, aeroelasticity and orbital mechanics. A statue of Houbolt stands in the museum at Langley Research Center beside that of the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard; the two were chosen to represent mankind’s greatest achievement in space – the Apollo 11 moon landing. Houbolt earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering at the U. of I.

John W. Hutchinson, professor of applied mechanics at Harvard University; honorary degree of doctor of engineering. “His scholarly work in three different branches of mechanics of solids has contributed to shaping this field of research for a generation,” wrote nominator L. Ben Freund, the Henry Ledyard Goddard University Professor in the Division of Engineering at Brown University. “His professional leadership has been exemplary. His abilities as an educator/mentor are most in evidence through his former graduate students who are forging distinguished careers for themselves at Illinois, Brown, Harvard and many other universities, companies and laboratories in the U.S. and abroad.” Hutchinson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Judith Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association; honorary degree of doctor of humane letters. Krug, who held her current position since 1968, also serves as executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, which she helped found in 1969. She was instrumental in developing Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the rights of individuals to choose their own reading materials. She has advised libraries and library trustees concerning challenges that have been made to a variety of reading materials. A recipient of the U. of I. Graduate School of Library and Information Science’s Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award, Krug has been a guest lecturer at both the University Library and the library school many times, establishing her direct connection with the U. of I.