America’s Duke University yesterday conferred honorary doctorate degrees on four recipients during its 2022 Commencement ceremonies in Durham, North Carolina.
The honorees were African Development Bank Group President and World Food Prize recipient Dr. Akinwumi Adesina; rocket scientist, businesswoman and former non-profit leader Sylvia Acevedo, who currently serves on the board of Qualcomm, a global leader in semiconductors and wireless technology; Patrick Brown, founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Impossible Foods, a leading producer of meat and dairy products from plants; and Tom Catena, the medical director and sole surgeon at Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan.
Adesina received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his career achievements in agriculture, and the innovative High 5 development priorities for Africa, which he conceived shortly after his election as President of the continent’s premier development finance institution in 2015.
I regard this recognition as a reward for all who work tirelessly to accelerate Africa’s development and to ensure millions of Africans thrive and reach their fullest potential
The university’s academic council unanimously recommended Adesina as a recipient. Duke University President Vincent E. Price said of Adesina: “Yours has been a truly extraordinary career—you have fought to eradicate poverty and improve living conditions in Africa, and your bravery and commitment have inspired countless people around the globe. I know that your example will also inspire our graduates to careers of equal purpose and principle.”
Adesina said he felt deeply humbled by Duke University’s recognition. “To be awarded an honorary degree is always a privilege beyond measure. I regard this recognition as a reward for all who work tirelessly to accelerate Africa’s development and to ensure millions of Africans thrive and reach their fullest potential.”
Founded in 1838, Duke University is ranked among the top universities in the United States.