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Maxwell Alum to Receive Honorary Degree at 2023 Syracuse University Commencement

May 5, 2023

SU News

A noted thought leader in student affairs, a transformative higher education president, a celebrated ceramic artist and a global business executive and philanthropist will be recognized with honorary degrees from Syracuse University at the 2023 Commencement on Sunday, May 14, at the JMA Wireless Dome.

The late Cerri Banks ’00, G’04, G’06, who served as the University’s vice president and deputy to the senior vice president of student experience; Maxwell alum Michael Crow G’85, president of Arizona State University; David R. MacDonald, artist and professor emeritus of ceramics; and Kathleen A. Walters ’73, retired executive vice president of Georgia-Pacific and the first woman to serve as chair of the University Board of Trustees, will be honored for their outstanding achievements in their professional careers and the difference they have made in the lives of others.

Michael Crow G’85, Doctor of Science

Michael Crow
Michael Crow

A knowledge enterprise architect and science and technology policy scholar, Crow has led Arizona State University (ASU) through a transformation of academic innovation and educational accessibility that has made him known nationwide as a leader in the evolution of higher education. Crow became the 16th president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and since then the university has seen rapid growth in traditional, online and international student enrollment, retention and research—all while evolving the academic enterprise to meet the changing needs of students, especially those from underrepresented groups.

During his now more than two decades at ASU, the University’s enrollment grew from 55,000 to 80,000 students, with a dedicated commitment to increased diversity. Its substantial Hispanic enrollment has earned it a Department of Education designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Under President Crow, ASU, which is a Carnegie R1 University, has seen a nearly fivefold growth in research expenditures, and currently ranks 17th in federal expenditures. For its dramatic growth and modernization, ASU has been recognized as one of the top 100 most prestigious universities in the world by Times Higher Education, and a top 100 position in Shanghai Jiao Tong’s 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Under Crow’s leadership, ASU has established 25 new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and launched trailblazing multidisciplinary initiatives, including the Biodesign Institute, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, and initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

Crow, who earned a Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science and environmental studies at Iowa State University, began building his distinguished academic career in various roles at Iowa State and Columbia University. At Columbia, he served as director of the Earth Institute, a collaboration of dozens of research centers and programs at the university and one of the nation’s leading resources on climate change, university vice provost and associate vice provost for science and engineering. At Iowa State, he was director of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology and director of the Office of Science Policy and Research. Throughout his career, including now as ASU president, he continues to teach and conduct research, staying grounded in the mission of higher education.

Crow has been recognized by his peers as an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published numerous books and articles analyzing knowledge enterprises, science and technology policy, and the design of higher education institutions. His expertise has been tapped by the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce and Energy, as well as defense and intelligence agencies.

Please visit the SU News website to read the full story, "Syracuse University to Present 4 Honorary Degrees at 2023 Commencement."

Published in the Spring 2023 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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