2012 Honorary Degree Citation

Paul Edward Farmer
Doctor of Humane Letters

Paul Edward Farmer

You are on a mission to conquer disease among the world's poor. Transformer of medical care on a global scale, you are a founder of Partners In Health, a nonprofit with a moral purpose to save lives. Without charge, you treat thousands of the world's most destitute people. You help to bring justice and healing to grateful populations in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho and Malawi. You provide a voice for the world's poor. You offer the lost and the hopeless a path toward health and well-being.

You are the Kolokotrones University Professor of Harvard University, which is Harvard's highest professorial distinction. You serve as chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as chief of the  Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and as Bill Clinton's United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti.

Through your many books and scholarly writing, you teach us about health, human rights and social justice, including your most recent publication, Haiti After the Earthquake, which reports on one of the great tragedies of our time. As always, you focus on alleviating the suffering of fellow human beings.

You provide a model to follow, echoing the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of social justice, of dedication to serving God and humanity and of striving for the betterment of our world. Your life is an inspiration and an aspiration for our many graduates who will devote their own lives to careers in medicine and health care.

That all may know of our great appreciation for your quest to conquer disease among the world's poor, to relieve the suffering of others and to foster a more just and caring world, the College confers upon you this day the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.