President Shirley Ann Jackson reached a milestone in May when she was awarded her 50th and 51st honorary degrees, from Albany Medical College (AMC) and Morgan State University.
In bestowing a Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, AMC President James Barba said, “We at Albany Medical College are particularly grateful and proud to honor Dr. Jackson because she has so very generously invested her intellectual gifts and influence here in our local community and has been instrumental in raising the stature and economy of the Capital Region, not only as president of RPI but by sharing her energy and expertise as co-chair of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council and by joining me and University at Albany President George Philip in initiating the Capital Region Research Alliance…Through our work together, we have come to believe that these important initiatives will significantly enhance the fabric of economic and civic life in the Capital Region.”
Speaking to the AMC graduates at their May 23 Awards Ceremony, President Jackson conveyed five wishes: that they be in the right place at the right time to use the talents they have prepared for; continue to challenge, renew, and transform themselves through the years; use their time wisely; find joy in their work; and achieve success on their own terms.
On May 19, President Jackson was awarded a Doctor of Science from Morgan State University. In the citation honoring her, President David Wilson said, “Always the pioneer and constantly on the cutting edge of change and progress, she has been both torchbearer and beacon—path-finder and pace-setter—in scientific research, in industry, in government and in academe…Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson has become a prototype for achievement in science and research and an icon for effective and visionary leadership in higher education…She is the standard-bearer for women, minorities, and educators throughout the world.”
In her address to the Morgan State graduates, President Jackson urged them to, “Look forward, not back. Look up, not down. Have confidence in yourselves. Take care of yourselves and your families. And, if ever you are feeling tired, discouraged, or just plain disgusted, think of the bridges you already have crossed, the mountains you already have climbed. Do not let others set your aspirations for you. Set them for yourselves. Intend to make a difference in this world—in ways large and small—and you will—and the world will be a better place for it.”