Prof. Bazeyo (R) poses poses Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe

Makerere University‘s Professor William Bazeyo on Sunday 23rd May, 2021 received the honorary Doctor of Science degree of Tufts University during the institution’s 165th All-University Commencement Ceremony. The pre-recorded ceremony was presided over by the Tufts University President, Dr. Anthony P. Monaco.

In his remarks, President Monaco shared that Tufts awarded its first honorary degree in 1858. “We confer honorary degrees to recognize the recipients for their extraordinary talents and contribution. At the same time we hope they will be a source of inspiration for today’s graduates and everyone in the Tufts community.”

Prior to the conferment, the citation of Professor William Bazeyo by Prof. Florina Tseng, Associate Dean, Tufts University read;

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“William Bazeyo, position; medical researcher and academician. You have transformed the wellbeing and potential of your fellow Ugandans and thousands of African people. As a Professor at Makerere University School of Public Health, you bridge research and reform. As Director of the ResilientAfrica Network, you imbue solutions with compassion. You have been instrumental to projects that demonstrate global leadership in One Health. As an example, your influence extends to a major Tufts-led initiative to combat the risk and spread of zoonotic spillover to forestall future pandemics.”

President Monaco in conferring the award said; “Dr. William Bazeyo, for your many contributions, you have received Uganda’s highest civilian honour; the gold medal. Tufts University is privileged to recognise your distinctive legacy of science in service to humankind by awarding you the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa).”

In his brief acceptance speech, Prof. Bazeyo said, “thank you very much and I wish you well as you serve other people.”

Other recipients of honorary awards included; Major General Maria B. Barrett, Commanding General, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) – honorary Doctor of Public Service degree

Stacey B. Gabriel, Senior Director, Genomics Platform at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard – honorary Doctor of Science degree

Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani; a top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the U.S. also lauded as a “Change the World” company by Forbes – honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree

Ofelia Zepeda, Educator and Activist dedicated to the preservation of O’odham and its culture, Co-founder and Director of the American Indian Language Development Institute, University of Arizona – honorary Doctor of Letters degree

Bryan Stevenson, Acclaimed Public Interest Lawyer, Executive Director Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law

Delivering the Commencement address, Bryan Stevenson urged graduates to not just be degree holders but people who are committed to human rights, justice and changing the world, “…I believe that the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. I believe the opposite of poverty is justice. And that is why I urge you to do justice in every way possible.”