The nation’s top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci receives an honorary degree Saturday, May 29, from Bowdoin College. At left, Bowdoin Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry Anne E. McBride delivers the citation. Screen grab

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert who rose to fame at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 having clashed with then-president Donald Trump over COVID policy and practices, received an honorary degree during Bowdoin College’s commencement Saturday.

Fauci, who now serves as President Biden’s chief medical advisor, was not personally in attendance but received the honor via livestream video.

Saturday’s ceremonies occurred in-person after what college President Clayton Rose called a historic year that saw the college implement new policies to ensure social distancing and masking requirements to mitigate the spread of the disease on campus. “If we have learned anything from the past year, it is how much this matters,” Rose said in his remarks to graduates, referencing the celebration in which nearly 470 degrees were conferred. “How essential it is.”

Maine Gov. Janet Mills delivers a welcoming address to to Bowdoin College graduates via video on Saturday, May 29. screen grab