Former University president to receive honorary degree

Former University President Steven Knapp will receive an honorary degree at this year’s Commencement ceremony, according to a University release Monday.

Knapp, who wrapped up his 10-year stretch as University president last summer, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters at the Class of 2018’s Commencement ceremony in May for his contributions to the University’s expansion of science and arts initiatives, research programs and sustainability efforts, the release states.

After Knapp stepped down from his role as University president last July, he became a professor of English and president emeritus. During his time leading GW between 2007 and 2017, Knapp spearheaded the creation of the Science and Engineering Hall and boosted GW’s ranking as a research school.

Knapp also led GW’s largest-ever fundraising campaign, raking in more than $1 billion by the time it ended in June.

Last year, honorary degree recipients included the executive editor of the Washington Post and the surgeon general of the U.S. Army.

Marcia McNutt, the first female president of the National Academy of Sciences, will serve as Commencement speaker next month, though her selection sparked controversy after students said she is not a well-known figure and comes from a scientific background. Three-time Olympic gold medalist and alumna Elana Meyers Taylor will receive an honorary degree alongside Knapp.

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