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Penn President Amy Gutmann received an honorary degree from Johns Hopkins University at its commencement ceremony on May 24.

Credit: Ananya Chandra , Ananya Chandra

President Amy Gutmann will receive an honorary degree from Johns Hopkins University along with five other honorees at the University’s upcoming commencement ceremony on May 24.

Johns Hopkins’ Board of Trustees Secretary Maureen Marsh told The Daily Pennsylvanian that Gutmann was chosen due to her status as one of higher education’s most respected leaders.

“She believes deeply in the value of thoughtful, reasoned discourse and places a premium on education’s role in our democracy,” Marsh said.

“One of the things that really comes across in all the things she’s done,” she said, “is that she’s worked so hard to make higher education accessible to all.”

Penn Vice President of the University of Communications Stephen MacCarthy also noted Gutmann’s role as a leader in higher education.

“This is a great recognition of Dr. Gutmann’s significant contributions to higher education,” MacCarthy wrote in an emailed statement, “and of the respect that she enjoys as one of the truly prominent leaders in academe.”

There are five other honorary degree recipients this year. They include an award-winning journalist for The New York Times, Frank A. Bruni Jr.; the first woman and the first black person to lead the Library of Congress, Carla Hayden; and the female black NASA physicist and mathematician portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures, Katherine C. Johnson..

“It’s totally a testament to her,” Marsh said in regards of the diversity and accolades of Gutmanns’s fellow degree recipients. “It’s a really accomplished group and Dr. Gutmann has done so much for higher education that we’re so delighted that she’s receiving a degree this year.”

Nominees for honorary degrees at Johns Hopkins University are selected by a committee made up by the Board of Trustees, University President Ronald Daniels and other University faculty. The nominees are chosen based on notable achievement in academic excellence, civic or political, health sciences, arts and letters, university support and business and commerce, according to the honorary degrees nomination page

This is not the first honorary degree Gutmann has received.

In 1994, Gutmann received an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Kalamazoo College. In 2005, Gutmann received an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Wesleyan University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Rochester, and in 2012, Gutmann received an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Columbia University.