Honorary Degree Recipients

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The New York Public Library


Photo by
Stephen Voss

Ms. Alison Stewart
Award Winning Journalist and Author

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the Director of the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, and a former associate professor of history at Indiana University. In late 2010, he was selected to take over the helm of the historic Schomburg Center, which is currently celebrating its 85th year.

A native of Chicago’s South Side, Dr. Muhammad is also an award-winning author. His book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies. A great-grandson of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Ozier Muhammad, he has deep roots in Black history and in historic Harlem, N.Y.

As an academic, Dr. Muhammad is at the forefront of scholarship on the enduring link between race and crime that has shaped and limited opportunities for African Americans. He is now working on his second book, Disappearing Acts: The End of White Criminality in the Age of Jim Crow, which traces the historical roots of the changing demographics of crime and punishment so evident today.

Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has been featured in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlanta Journal Constitution, History News Network, and, as well as on National Public Radio and Pacifica Radio. He has been an Associate Editor of The Journal of American History, and was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of Transition Magazine, published by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.

Dr. Muhammad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics in 1993. After working at Deloitte & Touche LLP, he received his Ph.D. in American History from Rutgers University in 2004, specializing in 20th-century U.S. and African-American history. He also spent two years as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit criminal justice reform agency in New York City, before joining the faculty of Indiana University.

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Ms. Alison Stewart
Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa

During her more than two decades as a journalist, Alison Stewart has reported for all of the country’s major news networks, and has anchored her own groundbreaking and successful news programs on National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and MSNBC.

Stewart has reported from the floor of six presidential conventions during her decorated career, and has anchored major news events from Hurricane Katrina to the shootings at Virginia Tech University. She has reported from global locations such as Africa, Cuba, and Jordan, and reported live from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.  During her career, she has interviewed newsmakers including President Bill Clinton, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, singer/activist Bono, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, radio icon Howard Stern, movie titan Steven Spielberg and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

Stewart served as anchor for ABC World News Now from 2000 to 2002, and reported live from the World Trade Center during the attacks on 9/11. Her work earned her an Emmy award as part of ABC News’ coverage of the event.  She began her career as a producer/reporter for MTV News’ breakthrough political coverage Choose or Lose, for which she won a Peabody Award in 1992.

In addition to speaking at colleges across the country, Alison has moderated events for NYC’s 92nd Street Y, The World Science Festival, The Smithsonian Institution, The Connecticut Forum and the New School. She is the author of First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School. which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Essence and Mother Jones magazines.

A graduate of Brown University, Stewart was elected to The Board of Trustees of the Corporation of Brown in 2013. She has been also active in various charities, including Dress for Success, The Lighthouse, and Chess in the Schools. Currently, she lives in New York City and Woodstock, N.Y. with her husband and son.

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