Thursday, December 12, 2013
Morning Sentinel staff reports
WATERVILLE – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gregory White Smith is scheduled to speak May 26 at Colby College's bicentennial year commencement, the school announced Thursday.
He and all the other honorary degree recipients at this year's commencement are college alumni, in honor of the school's 200th year, according to a news release about the ceremony.
A 1973 Colby graduate, Smith and his partner, Steven Naifeh, have written numerous books, including six New York Times bestsellers, on art and other subjects.
Their biography "Jackson Pollock: An American Saga," won the Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
The book inspired the film "Pollock," which won an Academy Award and starred Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden.
Smith and Naifeh have appeared on the television programs "60 Minutes," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Larry King Live," "Tavis Smiley," "Charlie Rose" and "Today." They also were profiled in The New Yorker, The New York Times, USA Today and People.
Commencement ceremonies will start at 10 a.m. May 26 on the Miller Library lawn, weather permitting.
"As we considered the theme of Colby's bicentennial - In Their Footsteps - members of the committee felt that giving honorary degrees to alumni would honor both the history of Colby and the impact its graduates continue to make on the world," said Rebecca Corbett, a 1974 Colby graduate, trustee and senior enterprise editor at The New York Times.
Other honorary degree recipients are David Bodine, a 1976 graduate and chief researcher at the National Institutes of Health; Eleanor Duckworth, a 1957 graduate, cognitive psychologist and retired professor of education at Harvard; Kenneth Ongalo-Obote, a 1994 graduate and member of Uganda's parliament; Erik Quist, a 1999 graduate and a wounded Marine Corps captain; Liz Czernicki Quist, a 1998 graduate and veterans' advocate; Pete Rouse, a 1968 graduate and counselor to President Barack Obama; and Savas Zembillas, a 1979 graduate and spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh.