view of stage at main commencement ceremony

Four outstanding individuals received honorary degrees at the University Commencement Main Ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2018. 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: John E. Abele, Frank A. Bolden, J. Brooks Buxton, and Karen Nystrom Meyer.

John E. Abele

Doctor of Science

John AbeleJohn Abele is a world-class disruptor and has powerful examples to prove it. The retired founding chairman of Boston Scientific, Mr. Abele has radically changed the culture of medicine through technological and educational innovations, developing some of the first-to-market devices to treat life-damaging conditions of the heart, brain, lungs, and body systems, diminishing the need for invasive surgeries and reducing recovery time. Along the way his inventions have also reduced risk, trauma, and cost and improved the quality of life. Read more

Frank A. Bolden

Doctor of Humane Letters

Frank BoldenFrank A. Bolden, University of Vermont Class of 1963, appears to direct his professional and personal lives guided by one profound question: “How might I help?” His areas of service span country and community, business and academics, the arts and religion. A strategic leader and active community member, he has left an indelible mark on the many arenas of public life in which he is engaged. Read more

J. Brooks Buxton

Doctor of Humane Letters

Brooks BuxtonJ. Brooks Buxton, University of Vermont Class of 1956, exemplifies the engagement with and dedication to learning that the University of Vermont endeavors to instill in all its students. After graduating from UVM with a Bachelor of Arts, Mr. Buxton attended the Law School at the University of Virginia before setting out to make his career, first in New York and then overseas. For more than forty years, the sixth-generation Vermonter immersed himself in the language, cultures, and history of the Middle East and North Africa while working professionally in finance and then in the international oil and gas industry. Read more

Karen Nystrom Meyer

Doctor of Laws

Karen MeyerKaren Nystrom Meyer, University of Vermont Class of 1970, has devoted her decades-long career to advancing policy and practice in essential matters of the commons. A skilled consensus builder and problem solver, she has improved the lives of countless Vermont citizens by skillfully brokering innovative initiatives in complex political environments to advance affordable housing, health care quality, community vitality, land planning and conservation, and disaster recovery, among others. Her prodigious efforts have benefitted people and communities all across Vermont. Read more