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News Release

For immediate use

May 3, 2007

Local angles: Chapel Hill; Seaboard; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Boston, Mass.; Columbia, S.C.; Mound Bayou, Miss.

Five to receive honorary degrees at Carolina’s spring commencement

CHAPEL HILL – The nation’s first female secretary of state, a human rights activist whose efforts have twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, a Tony Award-winning Broadway costume designer, a statesman committed to education, and one of college basketball’s winningest coaches will receive honorary degrees Sunday, May 13, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s spring commencement.

The recipients are:

The ceremony, presided over by Chancellor James Moeser, will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Kenan Memorial Stadium. Albright will be the featured speaker.

Albright was the 64th U.S. secretary of state from 1997 to 2001 and, at that time, the highest ranking woman in American government. In that role, Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated democracy and human rights and promoted American trade, business, labor and environmental standards abroad.

She had been the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet and national security council from 1993 to 1997. She was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s national security council and White House staff from 1978 to 1981.

After retiring as secretary of state, Albright published her memoir, “Madam Secretary” (2003), and “The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs” (2006). She is currently a principal in The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm she founded in Washington, D.C.

Albright is chairman of The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Geiger is a founding member and past president of Physicians for Human Rights, an international organization that shared in the 1988 Nobel Peace Prize, and a member and past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the U.S. affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

For more than six decades, Geiger has championed issues of human rights and health. He established and served as director of the country’s first urban health center in Boston and the first rural health center in Mound Bayou, Miss.

Geiger is a senior member in the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, and he continues to work as a scholar, teacher and mentor. His recent endeavors include a UNC-Chapel Hill summer conference on minority health and a Physicians for Human Rights Conference in Chicago.

Geiger is the Arthur C. Logan Professor Emeritus of Community Medicine at the City University of New York Medical School.

Long is a costume designer who has worked on 55 Broadway productions since beginning in 1978. Today he is an accomplished and honored practitioner of his art, with six shows running simultaneously on Broadway. He has received four Tony Awards for his work on the musicals “Hairspray” (2003), “The Producers” (2001), “Crazy for You” (1992) and “Nine” (1982).

Long was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2006. Over the past 25 years, 16 of his shows have been nominated for Tony Awards or Drama Desk Awards. Long’s designs also are seen in opera, dance, movies and on tour with musical artists such as Mick Jagger and the Pointer Sisters.

Long, who hails from both New York City and Seaboard, N.C., comes from a theater family. His parents were affiliated with Carolina’s PlayMakers Repertory Company, and his brother Robert is a theater consultant who recently oversaw renovation of the university’s Memorial Hall. Long himself has been involved in 37 seasons of The Lost Colony theater company on the Outer Banks, where he has been an actor, prop master, technical director and production designer.

Long also has worked to bring economic recovery to the town of Seaboard in the Roanoke River Valley. Through the Eastern Seaboard Trust and networking with other entrepreneurs in the area, Long is revitalizing a region that has long been plagued with economic stagnation and out-migration.

Long received his bachelor of arts degree from the College of William and Mary in 1969, studied art history at Carolina from 1969 to 1972 and received his master of fine arts degree from Yale University in 1975.

Riley was U.S. secretary of education from 1993 to 2001 and the 111th governor of South Carolina from 1979 to 1987. During his tenure with the Department of Education, he helped launch historic initiatives to raise academic standards, improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged, increase parental involvement in education, expand loans to help more Americans attend college and prepare young Americans for the world of work.

As governor of South Carolina, he initiated the Education Improvement Act, once called “the most comprehensive educational reform measure in the United States.”

The Christian Science Monitor called Riley “one of the great statesmen of education in this century.” The Washington Monthly once said him to be “the best governor in America — and you’ve never heard of him.” Two decades later, Riley is known as one whose efforts on behalf of public education have made a difference in the classroom and in the workplace.

Riley is Distinguished University Professor of Education at the University of South Carolina and Distinguished Professor of Government, Politics and Public Leadership at the Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University. The College of Education at Winthrop University bears his name.

Smith was one of the most successful and innovative coaches in college basketball history. In his 36-year head coaching career at Carolina, Smith’s teams won two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships and one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship, made 11 Final Four appearances, won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament titles and qualified to play in a record 27 NCAA Tournaments. He finished his career with 879 wins and 65 NCAA Tournament victories, both NCAA records. He coached the 1976 United States Olympic Team to a gold medal. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Smith was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1997.

When Carolina’s new basketball arena was opened in 1986, there was no debate about for whom it would be named – except from Smith himself. The Dean E. Smith Center stands today as a symbol of his hard work, knowledge of the game and ability to inspire student-athletes not only on the court but in the classroom as well. Smith’s teams boasted a 96.6 percent graduation rate.

Smith received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for his stand in integrating the game of college basketball in the South. He recruited Charles Scott, Carolina’s first black scholarship student-athlete, who went on to earn Academic All-America and ACC Athlete of the Year honors as a Tar Heel.

A blue-ribbon panel at ESPN named Smith one of the five greatest coaches of the 20th Century with Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, Red Auerbach and Bear Bryant.

Related links:
http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/sep06/commencement091306.htm
http://www.unc.edu/commencement/

Photo URLs:
http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/commencement/2007/albright_madeline.jpg
http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/commencement/2007/geiger_jack.jpg
http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/commencement/2007/long_william_ivey.jpg
http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/commencement/2007/riley_richard.jpg
http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/commencement/2007/smith_dean.JPG

News Services contacts: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093, lisa_katz@unc.edu; Clinton Colmenares, (919) 843-1991, clinton_colmenares@unc.edu