Honorary Degrees for Kushner and Muir

Tony Kushner

This spring Ithaca College presented two honorary degrees to luminaries. Acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner—winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Angels in America—was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at IC’s Commencement ceremony on May 17. Angels in America, which has been adapted for both television and opera, is a standard by which other works are measured for its frank treatment of homosexuality and AIDS. In 2011, IC hosted Kushner for its Distinguished Speaker in the Humanities Series.

Watch a video of Tony Kushner's speech at the IC Commencement:

In his address to graduates, Kushner said, “The world needs saving, and you smart, educated Ithaca Collegians, you are the ones the world’s been waiting for.”

In March, David Muir ’95 was surprised with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by President Thomas R. Rochon. The degree citation noted the many important stories Muir has covered and awards he has won, and quoted from the Commencement address he delivered to the graduating class of 2011: “You don’t need a camera or a microphone to have a voice. You already have a voice, and my role is simply to urge you to use it.”

David Muir

At the same time, Muir and Diane Sawyer received the inaugural Jessica Savitch Award of Distinction for Excellence in Journalism. Muir accepted the award for both of them at a ceremony held at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. The award was created to honor the spirit of Savitch as a pioneering NBC News anchor and correspondent. A 1968 graduate of Ithaca College, Savitch helped inspire and pave the way for a new generation of women in broadcast journalism.