Chapman University Announces Seven Distinguished Figures to Receive Honorary Degrees at 2023 Commencement

Chapman University announced this week that seven leaders in arts, sciences, business, education and law will be recognized May 19 through 21 as its 2023 Commencement Honorary Degree recipients

This year’s recipients represent a diverse range of fields and backgrounds, each making significant contributions to their respective industries. The honorary degree recipients will be recognized during the university’s Commencement celebrations over the weekend of May 19-21. The festivities include fireworks and a toast from University President Daniele C. Struppa. 

Commencement speaker and award-winning actress, director and executive producer Angela Bassett will receive a Doctor of the Arts degree during the main commencement ceremony on Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m. “From her portrayal of pioneering women to her personal passion to mentor and elevate filmmakers through her own production company, Angela is truly inspirational,” said Struppa. “I am excited that she will share her journey with our students as they embark upon their own career paths.” 

Other honored guests receiving doctoral degrees at the ceremony include: Rosalie Silberman Abella, the first Jewish woman and refugee to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada; Donna Ford Attallah, ’61, a longtime educator and philanthropist, and emeritus member of the university’s Board of Trustees; Nick Hanauer, a nationally recognized civic innovator and courageous voice for significant social change; William Helton, a highly regarded interdisciplinary scientist known for his significant contributions to mathematics; Floyd Norman, a animator, story writer, author and cartoonist who became the first African American animator at Disney Studios in 1959; and Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.

Past Chapman University Commencement speakers include: Nobel Peace Laureate Nadia Murad, and “Stranger Things” creators Matt and Ross Duffer ’07.

About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University:


Carly Murphy

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