The University of the South’s Winter Convocation will be at 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20, in All Saints’ Chapel. Honorary degrees will be presented and approximately 100 new members will be inducted into the Order of Gownsmen. Sir Peter Crane, until recently the dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, will give the Convocation address and will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.
During the Convocation, Paul Farmer, medical anthropologist, physician, and founding director of Partners in Health, will receive an honorary doctor of civil law; journalist and poet Eliza Griswold will receive an honorary doctor of letters; and S. Zachry Young, former headmaster at Wesleyan School in Atlanta, will receive an honorary doctor of civil law.
Convocation will be streamed live for those who are unable to attend. Go to for more information.
Peter Crane recently retired as the Carl W. Knobloch Jr., Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. Before joining Yale, he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the most influential botanical gardens in the world. He previously was director of the Field Museum in Chicago with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. Crane was elected to the Royal Society in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was knighted in the U.K. in 2004 for services to horticulture and conservation.
Paul Farmer is a physician, anthropologist, and co-founder of Partners in Health, an international social justice and health organization. He is also the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Farmer is best known for his humanitarian work to provide quality health care to rural and under-resourced areas in developing countries, starting in Haiti. He has also written extensively on health and human rights, about the role of social inequality in the distribution and outcome of infectious diseases, and about global health. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.”
Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold teaches writing at Columbia University. Her poetry and reportage have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. She won the first Friedman Prize in Investigative Journalism in 2004 for a piece about Pakistan’s Waziristan Agency, and has written widely about the war on terror. Her book “The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam” was awarded the Anthony J. Lukas prize and was a New York Times bestseller. In 2011, Griswold published a report in the New York Times Magazine that investigated fracking practices in Pennsylvania. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 for her ongoing work on water and poverty in America. Her collection of reportage and translations of Afghan folk poetry, “I am the Beggar of the World,” was published in 2014, and in 2015 won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.
S. Zachry Young is the retired headmaster of Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Before joining Wesleyan, Young had a career at SunTrust Bank and served as director of development at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, where he played a critical role in growing the schools’ endowment. During Young’s 18 years at Wesleyan, he led Wesleyan’s transition from a small K-8 school to an 85-acre K-12 campus with five academic buildings and first-class athletic facilities. As headmaster, he worked to make Wesleyan a full-activity school, and during his tenure, over 85 percent of students in grades seven through 12 participated in some after-school activity. Young’s legacy for fundraising and building is eclipsed only by his reputation as a caring educator who made an effort to know the name of every student at the school.