News Release

April 22, 2009

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

Medical School Dean Chosen to Deliver 150th Commencement Address and Receive Honorary Degree at Lincoln University

Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 3

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, has been chosen to receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Laurencin will receive the honorary degree and be the school’s keynote speaker during its 150th commencement exercises on May 3.

Lincoln University was chartered in 1854 and was the first institution in the world to offer higher education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent. Since its inception, Lincoln has attracted an interracial and international enrollment from the surrounding community, region, and around the world. Lincoln University’s alumni include Langston Hughes, '29, world-acclaimed poet; Thurgood Marshall, '30, first African-American Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; and Kwame Nkrumah, '39, first president of Ghana. Bishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs. Rosa Parks have been among those who have been so honored by Lincoln University with honorary degrees in the past.

“I am extremely honored to have been chosen to receive the Doctor of Science degree from Lincoln University,” says Laurencin. “Lincoln is an outstanding university with a rich tradition of excellence.”

Laurencin has achieved national prominence as an orthopaedic surgeon and chemical engineering expert. He holds the Health Center’s Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Academic Medicine and is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also holds an appointment in the School of Engineering as a professor of chemical, materials and biomolecular engineering.

Among Laurencin’s numerous awards and accolades, he has been recognized by America’s Top Doctors, America’s Top Surgeons and is a fellow of the American Surgical Association. In engineering, Laurencin recently received the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s highest honor, the Pierre Galletti Award, for seminal contributions to the field of tissue engineering. He was recognized last year by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as among “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era.”

Raised in North Philadelphia, Laurencin earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he was a Robinson Award winner and a Magna Cum Laude graduate. At the same time, he also earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a Hugh Hampton Young Scholar.

Caption: Dr. Cato T. Laurencin of the UConn Health Center will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree and be the keynote speaker at Lincoln University’s commencement exercises on May 3.

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