CalendarsResearch Subscribe to 
E-mails In the News Photos On The Air Media Relations ByGeorge! GW Magazine Publications Advertising Graphic Design Community Photography
GW logo
GW News Center

Campus Advisories

Printer Friendly

April 18, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT: Tracy Schario

(202) 994-3566;



MAY 20, 2007


Blitzer Joins Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences; Linda W. Cropp, former chairwoman of the Council of the District of Columbia; Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine; and Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., former U.S. Senator and Connecticut Governor in Receiving Honorary Degrees


WASHINGTON - The George Washington University announces its Commencement program, which includes the five honorary degree recipients: Wolf Blitzer, veteran broadcast journalist and CNN anchor, Doctor of Humane Letters; Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Science honoris causa; Linda W. Cropp, former chairwoman of the Council of the District of Columbia, Doctor of Public Service; Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine, Doctor of Science honoris causa; and Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., president of the Trust for America's Health and former United States Senator and Connecticut Governor, Doctor of Public Service. GW's Commencement on the National Mall (between 4th and 7th Streets, NW) will take place Sunday, May 20, 2007, at 10 a.m.


"Any university would consider it a privilege to celebrate one or two of these remarkable people," said GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. "That we should have such a collection from the American academy underscores our values. These individuals help identify for our graduates the aspirations we have for them. They are a north star to all who think of the application of mind, heart, and hand to the enhancement of society."


Charles T. Manatt, J.D. '62, chairman of GW's Board of Trustees, said, "As we reflect on the incredible transformation of GW over the past two decades, we also tip our hat to the architect of the University's rise to prominence. Thanks to Steve Trachtenberg, GW has become a national and global force. In the process, he has become a role model for graduates who seek to make a difference in our world."


Wolf Blitzer is the anchor of CNN's The Situation Room and has won numerous awards, including the 2004 Journalist Pillar of Justice Award from the Respect for Law Alliance and the 2003 Daniel Pearl Award from the Chicago Press Veterans Association. Blitzer also won an Emmy Award for his 1996 coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing. Blitzer is the author of two books, Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter's Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989). He also has written articles for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. Blitzer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.


Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, is an atmospheric scientist whose research in atmospheric chemistry and climate change has involved him in shaping science and environmental policy at the highest levels nationally and internationally. His research was recognized on the citation for the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to University of California, Irvine colleague F. Sherwood Rowland. Prior to his election as president of the National Academy of Sciences, Cicerone was the chancellor of the University of California, Irvine from 1998 to 2005. Cicerone is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He has published about 100 refereed papers and 200 conference papers and has presented invited testimony to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on a number of occasions. Cicerone received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a varsity baseball player. Both his master's and doctoral degrees are from the University of Illinois in electrical engineering, with a minor in physics.


Linda Washington Cropp has been a public servant for more than three decades, most recently serving two consecutive terms as chairwoman of the Council of the District of Columbia. She was the first woman elected to chair the D.C. Council in a special election in 1997 and was overwhelmingly reelected for two consecutive regular terms in 1998 and 2002. Cropp was first elected to the Council in 1990 as an at-large member, serving two terms before stepping into the chair's role.  During that time, she led the Human Services, Redistricting for the District, and Metropolitan Transit Budget committees. She spearheaded the creation of the District's Department of Health and drove funding for the completion of the 80-mile Metrorail subway system. Cropp began her public service career with the D.C. Public Schools as a teacher and guidance counselor. She was eventually elected to the Board of Education, where she would serve as vice president and president. Cropp received a bachelor's degree in government in 1969 and a master's degree in guidance and counseling in 1971 from Howard University.


Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine, an organization that provides advice to the government under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences.  Fineberg joined the institute after leaving Harvard University in 2001, where he had served as provost since 1997 and as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health for the 13 years preceding.  Fineberg has devoted most of his career to the fields of health policy and medical decision making.  He helped to found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making. He also has served as an adviser to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. At the Institute of Medicine, Fineberg has chaired and served on a number of panels dealing with health policy issues, ranging from AIDS to vaccine safety. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of numerous books and articles on such diverse topics as AIDS prevention, tuberculosis control, assessment of new medical technology, clinical and public health decision making, and understanding risk in society. Fineberg received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1972 and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University in 1980.


Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., is president of the Trust for America's Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization "dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority." Weicker's 30 years in public service include municipal, state and federal positions. He was elected to the Connecticut State General Assembly in 1962, where he served as a state representative until 1968.  He concurrently held office from 1963 to 1967 as mayor of Greenwich, Conn.  In 1969, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and became a U.S. Senator in 1971.  Weicker served in the Senate until 1989 and was then elected Governor of Connecticut in 1991. Weicker has held academic appointments as a visiting professor at The George Washington University Law School, Yale University, and University of Virginia School of Law and School of Medicine.  He received a bachelor's degree from Yale in 1953, served in the U.S. Army (1st Lieutenant, U.S. Army Artillery) from 1953 to 1955, and received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1958.


For updates regarding GW's Commencement 2007, visit

For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at

- GW -



©1996-2019 The George Washington University Office of University Relations, Washington, D.C.
Submit questions/comments