Kathryn Jagow Mohrman '67, Doctor of Humane Letters

June 01, 2005

Kathryn Jagow Mohrman '67 received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Grinnell College Commencement 2005.

It's difficult to imagine what challenges and problems the graduates of today will face in 10, 20, or 30 years, but they will likely be dramatically different than those we confront today. And, as Kathryn Jagow Mohrman '67 has said, this rapid change will continue to prove the relevance of a liberal arts education, as the graduates of places like Grinnell find that they have the confidence, the flexibility, and intellectual tools to adapt to a changing world.

It is in recognition of Ms. Mohrman's leadership and her passionate support for higher education that we honor her today. She cares deeply about the centrality of teaching, and about helping students become productive professionals, contributing citizens, and wonderful human beings. She has demonstrated these beliefs through all her roles in higher education: scholar, teacher, administrator, and college president.

Ms. Mohrman's dedication to education started early: she grew up on the campus of Knox College, and her father, Elmer Jagow, served as president of Hiram College for many years.

Educated in history and public policy at Grinnell College (where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa), the University of Wisconsin, and George Washington University, Ms. Mohrman has spent more than three decades working in higher education. As president of Colorado College for almost a decade, she took advantage of the president's bully pulpit to advance her vision for academe. She created a sense of excitement and shared purpose in advancing her goals for the college. Her belief in the liberal arts institution as a haven for learning, exploration, and discovery guided her every decision.

Ms. Mohrman's support for Grinnell College has been equally steadfast. She served on the College's Board of Trustees for 13 years, focusing on issues of finance, budget, and faculty relations. She has also served as national fundraising chair, and has returned to campus on several occasions to lecture.

Ms. Mohrman also advanced the cause of international cooperation in higher education through her work in East Asia as a Fulbright Professor and now as the executive director of the Hopkins Nanjing Center. She has demonstrated her commitment to the internationalization of education, as well as her own ability to live "the liberal arts life" as she has adapted so skillfully to another culture.

Grinnell College is proud to honor Kathryn Jagow Mohrman ror her commitment to the liberal arts, for her distinguished record as president of Colorado College, and for her curiosity and passion for learning.

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