West Virginia University will present former President Bill Clinton, former interim WVU President C. Peter Magrath and renowned School of Nursing alumnae Diana Mason with honorary doctorates next month during Commencement Weekend.

The three degrees were given final approval Monday by the Faculty Senate.

President Clinton will receive a doctorate of humane letters. Magrath will be awarded a doctorate of law and Mason a doctorate of science.

President Clinton, who will address the Eberly College of Arts and Science’s graduation, was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.

After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.

Today the Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (now the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a separate nonprofit organization) which is helping 2 million people living with HIV/AIDS access to lifesaving drugs. Other initiatives are applying a business-oriented approach worldwide to fight climate change and develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America.

Clinton was born on Aug. 19, 1946, in Hope, Ark. He and his wife Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have one daughter, Chelsea, and live in Chappaqua, NY.

Magrath’s nearly 50 years of experience leading and serving institutions of higher education marks him as one of the nation’s most respected experts in the field.

He served as WVU’s interim president from 2008-2009. Prior to his time in Morgantown, he was senior presidential advisor to the College Board from 2006-2008, and served as president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the nation’s oldest higher education association, from 1992-2006.

His national leadership also included service on the Commission on the Future of the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities and the American Association of Community Colleges. Magrath was involved internationally through service on the Board of Directors of the Salzburg Seminar.

Magrath began his academic career at Brown University in the 1960’s, moving from instructor to professor of political science, eventually serving as associate dean of the graduate school.

He went on to become dean of arts and sciences and provost at the University of Nebraska from 1968-1972, president of the State University of New York-Binghamton from 1972-1974, president of the University of Minnesota from 1974-1984 and president of the University of Missouri System from 1985-1991.

He earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire and a doctorate from Cornell University.

Mason, a renowned WVU alumnae, serves as Rudin Professor of Nursing and director of the Center for Health, Media and Policy at the Hunter College Bellevue School of Nursing at City University of New York.

She is editor-in-chief emeritus of the American Journal of Nursing, the oldest and most widely read nursing journal in the world.

Under Mason’s leadership, the AJN was selected by the Specialized Libraries Association as one of the 100 most influential journals of the century in biology and medicine – the only nursing journal to be included. In addition, the journal was honored for editorial excellence by the Association for Healthcare Journalists, the Association for Women in Communications, Publications Management, Folio, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honorary Society and the American Academy of Nursing.

In addition to print work, Mason has been a co-producer and moderator of Healthstyles, a weekly live radio program that airs in New York City, since 1986. This program has been honored with media awards from the State of New York, the Public Health Association of New York City, the American Academy of Nursing and the National Association of Childbearing Centers.

Mason is a nationally respected scholar, researcher and speaker in nursing and health policy. She co-edited the award-winning, “Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care,” now in its fifth edition, and is author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles.

Mason graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1970. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University in 1977 and graduated from New York University with a doctorate in nursing research theory development in 1987.



CONTACT: WVU News & Information Services

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