Campus News

Honorary Speakers

Story posted May 15, 1998


May 10, 1998 BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Bowdoin College will award four honorary degrees during its 193rd Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 23.

The four recipients and their honorary degrees are: Jef D. Boeke of Baltimore, Md., professor and research scientist; researcher in anti-viral and anti-cancer technology; a member of the Bowdoin College Class of 1977; doctor of science.

Barbara Bonney of Montclair, N.J., artist and teacher; principal soprano soloist with the Metropolitan Opera and Covent Garden; graduate of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham; doctor of humane letters.

The Rev. Frank Washington Jarvis III of West Roxbury, Mass., educator and community leader; headmaster of the Roxbury-Latin School; author of four books, doctor of humane letters.

Harold L. Oshry of Tamarac, Fla.; businessman and philanthropist; founder and CEO of Sandgate Corp., a transportation services company; chairman, Universal Auto Group of New York City; a member of the Bowdoin College Class of 1940, doctor of laws

Biographies of each of the honorary degree recipients are attached. For more information, contact, Kevin Wesley, assistant director of public affairs, at 725-3832.

Bowdoin College 1998

Honorary Degree Recipients



Jef D. Boeke

Doctor of Science

Jef D. Boeke, of the Bowdoin Class of 1976, is a premier scientist whose research into anti-viral and anti-cancer technology has helped in the battle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

He is a professor and geneticist in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has discovered and patented an anti-viral technology that creates a hybrid gene capable of destroying the HIV virus when transferred into infected cells. He has published more than 130 articles in professional journals and scientific texts. He has been granted two patents and has four others pending for various methods of protein synthesis and transposition. He has been an active participant in professional organizations and affiliated groups for 15 years. Since 1997 he has served on the grant review panel of the American Cancer Society and has been on a member since 1992 of the scientific advisory board of Alameda, Calif.-based Avigen Inc. He is an editorial board member for Molecular and Cellular Biology and a past member of the Medical School Council. He also serves as an ad hoc member of the National Institutes of Health study sections and as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the Genetics Society of America, the American Society for Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

At Bowdoin, Boeke graduated summa cum laude with highest departmental honors in biochemistry. He was a James Bowdoin Scholar and won the Donald and Harriet S. Macomber Prize in Biology, given annually to the most outstanding biology student, and the George Wood McArthur Prize, given to the scholarship student with the highest academic standing in the graduating class. He is a member of the Bowdoin chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. His wife, Suzanne Utzschneider Boeke, is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1977.

Upon graduation, Boeke was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study alpine Andean plants in several South American countries. He earned his doctorate in molecular biology from Rockefeller University in 1982. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow from 1982 to 1985 at The Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1986, he joined Johns Hopkins as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and full professor in 1995. From 1990 to 1995, he was a recipient of an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award.

Barbara Bonney

Doctor of Humane Letters

Barbara Bonney's artistry is world-renowned through her masterful interpretations of vocal music ranging from Bach cantatas to Bernstein's "West Side Story." A graduate of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, Bonney has sung the top lyric soprano roles with the world's best orchestras. Critics have called her "one of the most beautiful voices of her generation."

Bonney has made more than 50 recordings for such major labels as London/Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Teldec, Angel/EMI and Philips. Her discography comprises sacred music and choral works from Bach to Faure; complete opera recordings; and lieder by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann and Strauss. She has performed and recorded with many of the preeminent classical musicians and conductors today, including Andre Previn, Sir Georg Solti, Seiji Ozawa, Claudio Abbado and Kurt Ollmann of the Bowdoin Class of 1977.

She appears regularly with the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Opera Bastille. In January, she gave her first Carnegie Hall recital and in March and April performed for the first time with the New York Philharmonic, singing works by Previn and Copland under Previn's direction. She has received critical acclaim throughout the world. The New York Times said Bonney "sings with exceptional intelligence, and a sense of restraint that can come only with musical maturity." Le Soir of Brussels said "Bonney has quite simply one of the most beautiful voices of her generation ... she has an absolutely extraordinary technique... everything is controlled with such mastery."

In addition to her performing and recording schedule, Bonney believes in teaching the song literature and art of the recital to future generations. She frequently gives master classes to young singers and at major music festivals throughout the world. In 1997 she gave such classes at the Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals and this season will give master classes in Cleveland, Paris, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Bonney began studying piano at age five and the cello three years later. She attended the University of New Hampshire for two years before enrolling in the University of Saltzburg. While there, she was accepted into the renowned Saltzburg Mozarteum, subsequently earning a repertory position with the Darmstadt City Opera, where she appeared in 40 roles over four years. Her debut was in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in 1979.

The Rev. Frank Washington Jarvis III

Doctor of Humane Letters



The Rev. Frank Washington (Tony) Jarvis III is an educator and Episcopal priest in Boston. A distinguished educator committed to excellence and community service, Jarvis has been headmaster of the Roxbury-Latin School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, for 25 years.

After graduating from Harvard University in 1961, Jarvis earned a master's degree at Cambridge University in 1963. In 1964 Jarvis earned a master's degree in divinity at the Episcopal Theological School, then returned to his native Ohio, where he served as curate of St. Paul's Church in Cleveland. While in Cleveland, Jarvis played a key role in the creation of a city-wide youth ministry, and was instrumental in forging ties between suburban and urban areas of Cleveland.

After seven years at St. Paul's, Jarvis in 1967 joined the University School in Cleveland as assistant director of the upper school, chairman of the social studies department and director of curriculum. He has served as a trustee of the Family Service Association in Cleveland and as an overseer at Case Western Reserve University. Jarvis was also active in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements.

In 1974, at the age of 34, Jarvis was named headmaster of the Roxbury-Latin School. He continues to uphold the classical curriculum and spiritual foundation of the oldest independent school in North America, founded in 1645. The school maintains a socio-economically diverse student body that draws students from Boston and surrounding communities.

Jarvis is priest associate at All Saints Episcopal Church in Roxbury. He is the author of four books: "Prophets, Poets, Priests, and Kings: The Old Testament Story," "And Still is Ours Today," "Come and Follow," and "Schola Illustris: The Roxbury-Latin School." He has also written numerous articles for professional journals of history and religion.

Harold L. Oshry

Doctor of Laws

Harold L. Oshry is a businessman with a heart of gold. A 1940 cum laude graduate of Bowdoin College and father of three, Oshry has achieved success as a businessman and entrepreneur. He is a well-known supporter of humanitarian, educational and Jewish causes, sparing no expense of time, energy, or substance.

At Bowdoin, Oshry excelled both in the classroom and in an array of campus activities. He was a member of Masque and Gown, the Debate Club, the Political Forum and the Bowdoin Orchestra. He played football, hockey, basketball and track.

After graduating from Bowdoin, Oshry served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945, and was awarded the Battle Star. He then returned to his native New York City to begin his career as an account executive at the William Morris Agency. Oshry is the founder and chief executive officer of the Sandgate Corporation, a transportation services holding company with offices throughout the United States. He is also the chairman of the Universal Auto Group of New York.

In addition to his business acumen, Oshry is a longtime leader in community affairs both in New York and Florida. He is a former president of the New York Ford Dealers Association, the Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Center and the Jewish Federation of Greater Fort Lauderdale and is a national vice chairman of the United Jewish Appeal. He is a past or current director of the American Auto Leasing Association, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens YMCA, the Council of Jewish Federations, the Friends of the Bezalel Academy of Art and First Southern Bank. He has served as a trustee of Woodmere Academy and the Tamarac Jewish Center.

Oshry is a staunch supporter of higher education. In 1976 he endowed the Harold Louis Oshry Scholarship Fund at Bowdoin in honor of his father. In 1993, the Oshry family endowed the Claire and Harold Oshry Chair in Aquatic Microbiology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in New York City. He has served on the Ben-Gurion board of directors, including four years as president from 1991-1994. During that time, he helped shape and plan a $100 million capital campaign in honor of the school's 25th anniversary. Ben-Gurion awarded him an honorary degree in 1995.

Oshry has served Bowdoin as a class agent, president of the Bowdoin Club of Southern Florida and as a volunteer during the past two capital campaigns. His son Michael is a member of the Class of 1978.

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