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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma to Receive an Honorary Degree from Johns Hopkins

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May 10, 2012
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, revered around the world for her peaceful fight for democracy in Burma, will receive an honorary degree from The Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, May 24, at the university-wide commencement ceremony for graduates from all divisions and campuses.

Suu Kyi, one of six accomplished leaders who will be awarded honorary degrees, will not attend the ceremony.

As the on-the-ground leader of Burma’s democracy movement, Suu Kyi has devoted much of her life to nonviolent opposition to an oppressive military junta. She spent most of the years between 1990 and 2010 under house arrest for fighting for her beliefs. Even so, Suu Kyi kept the world’s attention and energy focused on her people’s plight: She lead her National League for Democracy to a majority in Parliament in 1990, an election that the military would not recognize; and in 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for her nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights.”

Since her release, she has resumed an influential role in public life, extracting important concessions from the government. Last month, Suu Kyi and more than 40 others in her party were elected in a landslide to Burma’s Parliament. This time, the government recognized the victory.

Honorary degrees will also be awarded to Rita R. Colwell, an environmental microbiologist and worldwide leader in the fight to provide safe drinking water; Stephen H. Lewis, a Canadian diplomat, politician, broadcaster and academic dedicated to humanitarian service; John C. Malone, chair of Liberty Media and of Liberty Global, which provides broadband distribution and video programming in Europe, Latin America and Australia; Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman of the board of IBM and chair of IBM’s executive committee; and Amartya Sen, a celebrated economist renowned for his trailblazing studies of social choice, welfare measurement and poverty.

The commencement ceremony will take place, rain or shine, at Homewood Field, the stadium on the northern end of the university’s Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. There will be a press section on the playing surface of the field. Identification is required; prior notification of intention to cover the ceremony is preferred. Limited press parking will be available; please notify us in advance if you need parking. See above for contact information.


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