February 10, 2005

SIUC to honor four individuals Special awards will be conveyed at commencement

by Tom Woolf

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will honor four individuals during May commencement ceremonies for their contributions to economics, human rights and the arts.

The SIU Board of Trustees today (Feb. 10) agreed to award honorary degrees to Columbia University Professor Jagdish Bhagwati and to U.S. District Court Judge Constance Baker Motley. The board approved Distinguished Service awards to SIUC alumnus William A. Fenwick and to Distinguished University Organist and retired professor Marianne Webb.

Here is a closer look at the honorees.

  • Bhagwati, a native of India, is a world-renowned economist and will receive an honorary doctor of arts degree from SIUC. In addition to serving on the Columbia University faculty, he is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Bhagwati is an external adviser to the World Trade Organization and a member of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's High-level Advisory Group on the New Partnership for African Development.

Bhagwati graduated from Cambridge University in 1956 and then studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oxford. He returned to India in 1961 as an economics professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, and went on to serve as professor of international trade at the Delhi School of Economics. He returned to MIT in 1968, and 12 years later became Ford International Professor of Economics and political science professor at Columbia.

He is the author of more than 300 articles and 50 volumes. Bhagwati also is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times and is a frequent guest on CNN, the BBC and MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.

  • Motley, a native of New Haven, Conn., is a federal judge in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. She will receive the doctor of human letters honorary degree from SIUC.

She earned a degree in economics from New York University in 1943 and graduated from Columbia University Law School in 1943. She worked as a law clerk at the New York branch of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she wrote briefs in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case. Over a 20-year period with the NAACP, Motley served as a staff member and associate and won nine of the 10 civil rights cases she argued. She became one of the first women to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her professional career also included serving as a member of the New York State Advisory Council on Employment and Unemployment Insurance. She was the first African-American woman elected to the New York Senate and was the first woman president of the borough of Manhattan.

In 1966, Motley became the first African-American woman appointed to the federal bench. She served as chief judge for the Southern District of New York from 1982 to 1986.

  • Fenwick, a first-generation college student, earned a bachelor of science degree in business management with honors from SIUC in 1964. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1967.

He is a partner in the law firm Fenwick & West, LLP, which has offices in Mountain View and San Francisco, Calif., and a staff of more than 245 attorneys. Established in 1972, the firm provides legal services to national and international high technology and life sciences clients, particularly in the areas of litigation and dispute resolution, anti-trust, securities, venture capital and other corporate finance and governance matters.

Fenwick and his firm make unique contributions to human rights by providing pro bono legal services to individuals who cannot afford to hire legal counsel and to charitable organizations serving the public interest. Attorneys at Fenwick & West logged more than 14,000 hours of pro bono work in the last two years alone.

  • Webb, a native of Topeka, Kan., joined the SIUC faculty in 1965 and retired in May 2001. She is SIUC's Distinguished University Organist.

She holds a master of music degree with highest distinction from the University of Michigan. A Fulbright grant enabled her to continue her studies in Paris, France, and she also did further graduate study at Syracuse University and the Eastman School of Music. As a concert artist, Webb toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, performing for American Guild of Organist chapters, churches, colleges and universities.

In addition, she maintains an active schedule of workshops, master classes and church music conferences.

Morris Library's University Archives houses a special collection that bears Webb's name. Eventually, the collection will include all her professional books, music, recordings and paper. Webb designed and supervised the installation of the pipe organ in Shryock Auditorium. Built to her specifications by the Reuter Organ Co., the instrument attracts prominent soloists. In 2001, the organ was named in Webb's honor.