Whether we're aware of it or not, each of us is a philosopher. Over time, we develop a set of beliefs that provide a guide for living, addressing issues most basic to our lives.
Judith Butler, you have dedicated your academic life to untangling some of the thorniest issues faced by humanity: the roles of women in the world, gender and sexual politics, the impact of war, and more.
Your philosophical talents are evident in the range and depth of your theoretical analyses. You ask us to think about gender and sexuality, about language and power. Your questions turn the soil in which our prejudices grow. Again and again, you have asked us to think about the excluded, the ignored - about those whose humanity we have failed to recognize.
To be human, you write, is to be vulnerable, because those we love can be taken from us in a world too callous to care. You insist on the importance of political engagement, of acting together to create a global community that honors our differences and makes our mutual need for others a feature of the human condition that is as protected as relationships can be.
In your roles as public intellectual and as an academic at the University of California-Berkeley and the European Graduate School, you reject the temptation to remain safely within the confines of the academy. You offer judgments that reflect your innovative appropriations of arguments rooted in the classic texts of Western philosophy to think about what we are doing as a nation and as a worldwide community.
Educated at Bennington College and Yale University, you are the author of many books, most notably Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning, a collection of writings on war's impact on language and thought. Your current work examines Jewish philosophy, focusing on pre-Zionist criticisms of state violence.
Judith Butler, for your willingness and ability to do the "deep thinking" for all of us on subjects so crucial to our lives, Grinnell College is proud to honor you today.
Sometimes the issues that are the most difficult to discuss are precisely the ones that most require our attention. In your columns for the Des Moines Register, Rekha Basu, you have taught us how to begin difficult conversations, and what we can gain by doing so. Your ability to shed light on sensitive subjects with delicacy and insight has enriched readers' lives for a decade and a half.
In that time, you have chronicled the growing diversity in Iowa's communities, both large and small. You look beneath the surface to discern the hardships and the joys of the many cultures that make up Iowa. You remind us that Iowa is not isolated from larger forces that are changing our world. You do not let us forget that change comes at a cost, or that, despite our fears, we can profit from acknowledging its occurrence.
Born in New Delhi, India, to parents whose work with the United Nations took your family all over the world, you grew up seeing the world as a network of connections among human beings.
Educated at Brandeis University, the Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, you taught political economy to college and graduate students and worked in documentary film and television production in New York before becoming a newspaper journalist. You joined the editorial page staff of the Des Moines Register in 1991 and became a columnist there two years later. You have devoted many of your columns to exploring your interests in human rights, civil liberties, and hidden cultural messages.
You are particularly skilled at illuminating the international contexts that bear upon Iowans' lives, and capturing how events in Iowa affect the wider world. You model the kind of global citizen that Grinnell College has long sought to educate.
Rekha Basu, Grinnell College is proud to honor you for raising your genuinely humane voice in defense of the voiceless, and for showing us how crucial it is for us to raise ours.
Much as we might like to believe that looks don't matter, children with cleft lip know it's not true. This common birth defect not only makes facing the world a challenge, it can also make a child more susceptible to colds, hearing loss, speech defects, and dental problems. A relatively inexpensive surgical procedure can repair the cleft - but for some families, "relatively inexpensive" can be completely out of reach.
For children like these, Dr. John Canady '80, you are a true hero.
Dr. Canady, you are the director of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Cleft Lip/Palate Program. As a physician, you specialize in craniofacial surgery, cosmetic surgery, and head and neck plastic surgery. For 13 years, you have performed free surgeries for underprivileged children and young adults in developing countries, including El Salvador and "Operation Smile" trips to the Philippines to provide charity surgery. You and other volunteers often work under dangerous and challenging conditions; your team sometimes performs more than 150 surgeries in less than a week.
Closer to home, you have directed several University of Iowa child health care clinics throughout Iowa, offering diagnostic evaluations of children with cleft lips or palates.
In the early '90s, you performed life-altering surgery on a talented child violinist from Russia, Julia Sakharova, whose cleft lip had interfered with a promising future. After the surgery, she went on to an acclaimed musical career throughout Europe.
Dr. Canady, you were educated at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa, where you completed a residency in otolaryngology. Your residency in plastic surgery was completed at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City. You are a professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology at University of Iowa Health Care.
Dr. John Canady, for your unswerving dedication to the health and well-being of children, Grinnell College is proud to honor you today.
Bringing African Americans into the U.S. economic mainstream requires persistence, dedication, and a realization that racism still leaves its ugly traces today. It is not enough to simply denounce racism. We must also find concrete ways to bring about meaningful change.
Through your work as a management consultant and mentor, James Lowry, you have opened doors and removed glass ceilings for African Americans in the business world.
You learned the importance of self-reliance, hard work, and education from your parents, lifelong postal workers in Chicago. After graduation from Grinnell, you were one of the first Grinnellians to join the Peace Corps. Recruited by Robert F. Kennedy, you returned to the United States as assistant to the president of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. You also earned a master's degree in public international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and you were president of your class at Harvard Business School.
In 1968, you became the first African American at the pre-eminent management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where you eventually became a senior associate. In 1975, you formed James H. Lowry & Associates. In 1978, your firm prepared the first major study on minority business enterprise development for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Your client list includes corporate icons such as American Express, Caterpillar, and Ford Motor Company. Your work with Ford led the company to source $3 billion of goods and services to more than 300 minority suppliers. In 1981, you helped your former employer, McKinsey, significantly increase the number of minority professionals on its staff.
Since becoming president of the Boston Consulting Groups' Chicago office in 2000, your involvement with the North American Black Diversity Initiative has helped foster the development of African American management consultant professionals on college campuses, as well as within the company. You are chair of the advisory board of the Howard University Institute for Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Innovation. You are also an adjunct faculty member at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where you developed an education program for minority business professionals in 2002.
You are one of the longest-serving members of Grinnell's Board of Trustees. As the winner of nine varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball at Grinnell, you were inducted into the College's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
Visionary, entrepreneur, mentor, and advocate - James Lowry, you are a model Grinnellian and world citizen. We are proud to claim you as one of our own.