University of Vermont

216th Commencement Ceremonies - May 20 and 21, 2017

Honorary Degree Recipients

Seven outstanding individuals will receive honorary degrees at the University Commencement Main Ceremony on Sunday, May 22nd. Recognized for their vital and important contributions to the state, the university, the nation, and the world, over the course of their distinguished careers are: Gail Sheehy, Paul Bruhn, Richard Erdman, Jaime Laredo, Dr. William H. Luginbuhl and Viola L. Luginbuhl and William F. Ruprecht.

  • Gail Sheehy

    Commencement Speaker: Gail Sheehy chronicles politics, social change, and the human experience in an immersive style and descriptive voice that has won her numerous awards in her decades-long career. A prolific writer, she has authored 17 books and hundreds of magazine articles; she is a founding writer of New York magazine and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984. Her seminal work Passages was named by the Library of Congress as one of the ten most influential books of our times. READ MORE

    • Paul Bruhn

      Paul Bruhn attended the University of Vermont from fall 1966 to fall 1969. His early career interest in journalism led him to take a “practicum” approach to completing his education. Leveraging his experience from selling ads and then writing for the weekly Suburban List in Essex Junction, Vermont, in 1969 Mr. Bruhn launched Chittenden Magazine. Serving as the magazine’s editor and publisher, he focused the magazine’s content on the political and community issues facing the greater Burlington area at the time – downtown redevelopment, adequate affordable housing, and the rehabilitation of existing buildings. This early immersion into community development and historic preservation set the stage for his formidable career. READ MORE

    • Richard Erdman

      Richard Erdman, University of Vermont Class of 1975, is an acclaimed sculptor working in marble and bronze. An artist with a strong international following, he has had more than 160 solo and group exhibitions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1985, PepsiCo commissioned him to create the monumental sculpture Passage, which stands at the entrance of the esteemed Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo, considered one of the finest collections of twentieth century outdoor sculpture worldwide. Carved from a massive 450-ton block of travertine, the 25-by-16 foot Passage is the largest sculpture in the world carved from a single block of marble. READ MORE

    • Jaime Laredo

      Jaime Laredo, Music Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, is a highly honored violinist and violist and a revered teacher to aspiring musicians. He lives in Guilford, Vermont, with his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson. Mr. Laredohas performed before audiences across the globe in a professional career that spans more than six decades, excelling in his multiple roles as soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since making his orchestral debut at the age of eleven with the San Francisco Symphony, he has gained the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with his exquisite and passionate performances. He is a tireless mentor to young musicians and a champion of contemporary classical music. READ MORE

    • William and Viola Luginbuhl

      Dr. William H. and Viola L. Luginbuhl, William (Bill) Luginbuhl, M.D., former dean of the University of Vermont College of Medicine from 1970 to 1990, and Viola (Vi) Luginbuhl, former University of Vermont trustee and Vermont legislator, have served the University and the people of Vermont tirelessly and with distinction since their arrival to the state in 1959. With unwavering dedication to the fields of health care and education, and as prominent leaders and supporters of the University of Vermont, together the Luginbuhls have forged a legacy of professional and personal accomplishment that has bettered the lives of countless students and Vermont citizens. READ MORE

    • William F Ruprecht

      William F. Ruprecht, University of Vermont Class of 1980, is internationally recognized in the world of fine art collecting for his extensive knowledge and his personal manner of conducting business. He presided as president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Sotheby’s, the premier global art auction house, from 2000 to 2015, overseeing a worldwide art business across 40 countries and broadening the company’s focus to include private gallery sales and global education programs. Under his leadership Sotheby’s expanded beyond its traditional markets to open new offices in Beijing, Moscow, Istanbul, and Doha, and began bringing to the market an impressive portfolio of contemporary artists. READ MORE

    • Last modified March 30 2016 04:34 PM