Honorary Degree Recipients

Honorary Degree Recipients 2016

Since 1984, it has been a tradition at The American University of Paris to award honorary degrees as a way of recognizing a distinguished person’s contributions to a specific field or to society in general. An honorary degree is very often awarded to distinguished individuals whose accomplishments are consistent with the mission and core values of AUP.

It is with great pleasure that we announce this year's honorary degrees recipients:

Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer

Stephen Breyer, born in San Francisco in 1938, has been a US Supreme Court Justice since 1994 when he was appointed to the Court by President Clinton. An honors graduate of both Stanford and Harvard Law School, he also received highest honors from Magdalen College Oxford, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. Having distinguished himself as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review, he returned to teach at both Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government. He worked as a Supreme Court law clerk for Justice Arthur Goldberg, as a Justice Department lawyer in the Antitrust Division, as an Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and as Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked closely with Senator Edward M. Kennedy to pass the Airline Deregulation Act. In 1980, he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President Carter, becoming Chief Judge in 1990. He has written books and articles about administrative law, economic regulation, and constitutional law, including Regulation and Its Reform, Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation, Active Liberty, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View and, The Court and the World, on which he spoke at AUP on May 3 of this year. Justice Breyer received the Aspen Institute Public Service Award (2003), the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (2007), and the Leonore and Walter H. Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts (2009) which recognizes distinguished Americans who have furthered global understanding. 

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Kenneth Roth

Kenneth Roth has served as executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993. Under his leadership, Human Rights Watch has gone global, growing ten-fold in size and vastly expanding its reach. It now operates in more than 90 countries, among them some of the most dangerous and oppressed places on Earth. During Roth’s tenure, Human Rights Watch has worked tirelessly to bring justice to victims of the worst abuses, documenting war crimes from Bosnia to Congo, from Iraq to Sierra Leone. Hard-nosed advocacy laid the groundwork for international treaties banning landmines, cluster munitions, and child soldiers. Under Roth's leadership, Human Rights Watch has expanded its work on the rights of women, children, refugees, and migrant workers. It has helped spotlight previously ignored topics such as the rights of gays and lesbians, and, prompted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the link between health and human rights. Roth, who graduated from Brown University and Yale Law School, has authored more than 200 articles and chapters on a wide range of human rights topics, notably issues of international justice, counterterrorism, the foreign policies of the major powers, and the work of the United Nations. Before joining Human Rights Watch as deputy director in 1987, Mr. Roth served as a federal prosecutor in New York and on the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. Roth has been awarded honorary degrees by Brown University, the University of Ottowa and Bowdoin College. He received the 2004 Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University.

Bertram Lubner, Businessman and Philanthropist

Bertram (Bertie) Lubner

Bertram (Bertie) Lubner, a leader of the largest automotive glass and timber company in the world founded 100 years ago by his own father in South Africa, presided with other family members over a group operating in 19 countries for forty years until his death at 85 a month ago on April 18, 2016. The legacy he left was not only that of a successful businessman, but even more importantly, that of a transformative social entrepreneur and philanthropist. For the past 25 years, he has devoted himself to building with local communities, the government, and the business community, a support system for the rights, wellbeing, education, and development of children and youth in South Africa who have benefited “from cradle to career.” In addition, Lubner expanded the work of what became a three-generation family organization in virtually every area touching upon human rights—particularly the social exclusion associated with disabilities and gender-based violence, HIV and the right to healthcare. Bertie Lubner’s son Marc and his granddaughter Takara Lubner ’14, who graduated with Departmental Honors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, will receive the award in his name. Bertie Lubner received an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University for lifetime achievement in 2013; he served on its Board of Governors for four decades, establishing numerous prizes for research, innovation, and community service. He also received South Africa’s highest honor, the Order of Meritorious Special Service.

Previous Honorary Degree Recipients

Honorary degrees have been awarded at the AUP Commencement Ceremony since 1984. Honorary degree recipients often give lectures or presentations on the days preceding Commencement. These events are open to the public and provide graduates and their families the opportunity to meet our awardees in informal settings. One or more of the recipients is often invited to give a commencement address before the assembled faculty, graduates, and parents – an event which is often the highlight of the ceremony. The following renowned scholars, artists, writers, political figures, and researchers have received honorary degrees from AUP. 

Honorable Arthur Hartman

Pierre Salinger

Gene Kelly
Sir Stephen Spender

Vicomte Etienne Davignon
Elizabeth McCormack

Daniel Socolow
Simone Veil

Helen Ahrweiler
Georges Duby
Luc Montagnier
Jessye Norman

I. M. Pei
William Styron


Maurice Allais
Francois Perigot

Bernard Kouchner
Simon Weisenthal

Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Olivia de Havilland

Glenn W. Ferguson
Jeannine Manuel
Frederico Mayor
H. E. Sa’eed Salman

Christiane Amanpour
Pamela Harriman
Richard C. Holbrooke
Harry Wu

Van Gordon Sauter
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Russell Porter
The Honorable Felix G. Rohatyn

Chloe Wellingham Aaron

Martin Gray

Peter W. Goldmark
Willem Peppler

Eunice Kennedy Shriver
The Honorable R. Sargent Shriver, Jr.

Sir Crispin Tickell

Yehuda Elkana

Dr. Taslima Nasreen
Dame Muriel Spark
Dr. Tzvetan Todorov

Barry Eichengreen
Mavis Gallant
Michel Rocard

Edmond Alphandery
James Ivory

Daniel Cohen
Paul Muldoon

Naif Abdullah Al-Rukaibi
Leslie Caron
Reza Deghati
Christine Lagarde

J.M. Coetzee
Eugene Lang
Robert Wilson

Jane Goodall
Rory Stewart

Richard Ned Lebow
David McCullough
Archie Shepp

Louise Arbour
Martha Nussbaum

Edward A. Frieman
Lillian Greene-Chamberlain
Judith Hermanson Ogilvie
Nicholas Vreeland

Lisa Anderson
Margee Ensign
Benjamin Millepied

Justice Stephen Breyer
Bertie Lubner
Kenneth Roth