Environmentalist Russell W. Peterson receives honorary degree
5:20 p.m., May 27, 2006--Russell W. Peterson, a scientist and former Delaware governor, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the Department of Political Science and International Relations Convocation on May 27.
During the ceremony, Howard E. Cosgrove, chairman of UD's Board of Trustees, read the following citation.
“Treasured friend of the First State, through your lifelong pursuit of justice and civic duty, you have enriched countless lives in the State of Delaware, the region and the nation. You served as governor of the state of Delaware following a distinguished 26-year career as a scientist with the Du Pont Co.
“You are acknowledged as one of Delaware's foremost policy leaders and one of the nation's most highly respected voices in the areas of energy, environmental and marine policy, and international relations. You have continued your unbroken record of service to the state as chairman of the Delaware River Basin Commission, as co-chair of the Governor's Task Force on Rejuvenating the Wilmington Waterfront and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Riverfront Development Corporation.
“Distinguished friend of education, you worked continuously to promote the University of Delaware and its mission. You assisted in acquiring the land for the University's Lewes campus and have been a tireless supporter of the College of Marine Studies. You were instrumental in the establishment of the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research--a partnership between the University, Jefferson Medical School and the Delaware Medical Society.
“You served for four years on the University's Board of Trustees and in 2000 were appointed Distinguished Policy Fellow, working with the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy.
“Trusted adviser, you aided in creating, then chairing, the Center on the Consequences of Nuclear War. With Ted Turner, you founded the Better World Society and then served as its president with the aim of bringing world leaders together to address issues of environmental protection, world peace and human population stabilization. You have been acknowledged by your peers with numerous honors and awards including the Audubon Medal of the National Audubon Society, the lifetime Achievement Award of the League of Conservation Voters, the Parsons Award of the American Chemical Society, the Robert Marshall Award of the Wilderness Society and an Honorary Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“Environmental advocate, as governor of Delaware, you received national acclaim when the 1971 Coastal Zone Act became law. The World Wildlife Fund awarded you the Gold Medal and National Wildlife Federation named you Conservationist of the Year for our leadership in passing this landmark legislation.
“You chaired the President's Council on Environmental Quality where you oversaw implementation of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. You served as President of the National Audubon Society, which grew to a 550,000 member-based voice for the protection of North American bird life. Additionally, you served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environmental Program
“Russell W. Peterson, the founder of the World Wildlife Federation, Sir Peter Scott, said, "The conservationist's most important task, if we are to save the earth, is to educate."
“Through your passion and commitment, you have created an enduring legacy by educating thousands of others--both known and unknown to you--on issues of national and international impact. There are few achievements more noble.
“And now, under the authority of the Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware, I have the pleasure and honor of conferring upon you, Russell W. Peterson, the degree of Doctor of Science and do declare you entitled to all the rights, honors and privileges to that degree appertaining throughout the world. In testimony thereof, I am pleased to present you the diploma officially signed and bearing the seal of the corporation. And it is my honor to welcome you to the distinguished body of University of Delaware alumni.”
After receiving the honorary degree, Peterson said, “It is great to be recognized by a world-class organization like the University of Delaware. I have seen UD grow by leaps and bounds, and not just in size, but in stature. This is especially due to two people, former President Art Trabant and President David P. Roselle.”
Photo by Bob Varell