Honorary Degrees, December 2014

Posted on: 08 December 2014

EU Ambassador to the US, David O’Sullivan, Poet Paul Muldoon, founder of Front Line Defenders, Mary Lawlor  and  leading Scientist Nancy Hopkins   were  conferred with Honorary Degrees at Trinity College Dublin.

The EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan who is also a Trinity graduate, was conferred with a Doctor in Laws (LL.D). Formerly Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service (EEAS), he has been an outstanding European public servant who has dedicated his career to the practical promotion of the European ideal. His contributions to Europe's external relations have had an immensely positive impact on the citizens of Ireland, the EU and beyond. As the top civil servant at the EU's diplomatic corps, David O’Sullivan has helped bring greater coherence and efficiency to the EU's international presence, defending our values and interests in the world. He has maintained his links with Trinity, acting as a consultative board member for the IIIS and participating as a speaker in the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy Henry Grattan public lecture series.

Executive Director of Front Line  Defenders,  Mary Lawlor , the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders which she founded in January 2001 was conferred with a Doctor in Laws (LL.D). She established it as a respected, trusted and effective nongovernmental organisation (NGO) providing round the clock practical support and delivering fast and effective action to human rights defenders at risk. Under her leadership, Front Line was awarded the King Baudouin Foundation 2006-07 International Development Prize and in 2014 Mary was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by the French Government.  Front Line Defenders works on behalf of over 1000 HRDs in 70 countries every year through security grants, personal and digital security training and advocacy. She has had many speaking engagements in Trinity, and continues to engage Trinity students in Front Line events as volunteer organisers and translators.

The Irish poet, Paul Muldoon,  who was conferred  with a Doctor in Letters (Litt.D) is the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities, Princeton University and founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, and Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. He is one of the most distinguished Irish poets writing today, a distinction acknowledged in his election to the Oxford Professorship of Poetry in 1999; he has been described by the TLS as ‘the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War’. In 2003 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.  He has built up a major reputation in the US where he has been based since 1987. His  poetry continues to be very much concerned with Ireland.  He maintains strong links with Trinity’s School of English.

 Amgen, Inc. Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, member of the US National Academy of Sciences (2004), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998) and the Institute of Medicine (1999), Professor Nancy  Hopkins has made ground breaking contributions in both cancer genetics and in her pioneering work as an advocate for women in science.  Professor Hopkins was conferred with a Doctor in Laws (LL.D). In 1999 she published what came to be known as the ‘MIT Report on the Status of Women Faculty in Science’, which summarised work of a committee she led. She Co-Chaired the first Council on Faculty Diversity in MIT. The resulting efforts by MIT were recognised by President Clinton and have had a major impact both in the US and internationally. Professor Hopkins played an important and very generous role in providing advice and expertise to WiSER, and maintains a strong link with the Centre’s activities.