Knox College will give honorary degrees to Commencement speaker Nathasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate, Alan Harn, assistant curator of anthropology at Dickson Mounds Museum and Ramsey Lewis, Grammy award-winning jazz musician.
President Teresa Amott announced the degree recipients in an email Friday afternoon to the campus. Faculty members of the Honorary Degree Subcommittee of the Board of Trustees selected the degree recipients. The members are Professor and Chair of Chemistry Mary Crawford, Professor of Mathematics Kevin Hastings and Associate Professor of English Barbara Tannert-Smith.
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey has received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet, the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. She serves as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. She was named Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States in 2012. She will be the Commencement Speaker at Knox this year.
Alan Harn has worked at the Dickson Mounds Museum since 1962 in Fulton County, Ill. For years, Harn has provided Knox students with tours through the museum, laboratory and collections and is now working on compiling a history of the past 50 years of research and discoveries at the Dickson Mounds excavations.
Ramsey Lewis has worked in the contemporary jazz genre for over 50 years, collaborating with bassist Eldee Young and percussionist Redd Holt. His 1965 album was selected for the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2009, he composed “Proclamation of Hope,” which celebrated the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln and was performed at the the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. He currently serves as the artistic director of the Jazz at Ravinia series and co-founder of the Ravinia Mentor Program, promoting jazz in Chicago high schools. that promotes jazz in Chicago high schools. He is the recipient of a 2004 Image Award from the NAACP and a 2007 Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The degrees will be conferred at Knox’s Commencement on Saturday, June 7.