Yale will award honorary degrees to 10 individuals who have received distinction in their respective fields at its 317th Commencement ceremony on May 21.
The 2018 honorands and the citation read at the Commencement ceremony follow:
Doctor of Letters
Elizabeth Alexander — poet, playwright, essayist, educator — is the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest grant-giving organization in the humanities and the arts. A member of the Yale College Class of 1984, she spent 15 years on the faculty at Yale, where she served as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry and chaired the Department of African American Studies. She has taught and inspired a generation of Yale students, some of whom will graduate May 21.
Your words are radiant, illuminating our world anew. From Capetown to London, from Harlem to this nation’s capital, your verse and prose circle the globe, exploring family, intimacy, loss, and struggle. And you have said it plain in front of millions, elevating “the human voice” in history. Generous teacher, brave artist: in praise for your songs of hope and truth, we are honored to present you with your third Yale degree, Doctor of Letters.
"Yale Awards Honorary Eegrees to Ten Individuals for their Achievements," Yale News, May 21, 2018, https://news.yale.edu/2018/05/20/yale-awards-honorary-degrees-10-individuals-their-achievements