The Brown Alumni Association established the William Rogers Award in 1984 to recognize an outstanding alumna or alumnus whose service to society in general is representative of the words of the Brown Charter: living a life “of usefulness and reputation.” It recognizes important contributions to humankind made by Brown alumni anywhere in the world.

Roger Williams was the first Rhode Islander. In a neat bit of symmetry, William Rogers was the first Brunonian, enrolling in 1765. Rogers was the only student attending the new college for the first nine months, and when he graduated with six other men in 1769, he gave the first Commencement oration. In 1790 Rogers became president of oratory and belles-lettres at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held until 1811. He served as vice president of the Society for Gradual Abolition of Slavery, and in 1797 he was vice president of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. He died on April 7, 1824.

2022 Recipient

Lynn C. Pasquerella PhD’85

Lynn Pasquerella PhD’85 has served as president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities since July 2016. A philosopher whose career has combined teaching and scholarship with local and global engagement, she has continuously demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring that all students have access to excellence in liberal education, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

Pasquerella joined the faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rhode Island in 1985, rising rapidly through the ranks to the positions of vice provost for research, vice provost for academic affairs, and dean of the graduate school. In 2008, she was named provost of the University of Hartford. In 2010, she was appointed the eighteenth president of Mount Holyoke College.

Pasquerella has written extensively on medical ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law. She is the immediate past president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and a member of the boards of the Lingnan Foundation and the National Humanities Alliance. In addition, she is the host of Northeast Public Radio's “The Academic Minute.” Pasquerella is a graduate of Quinebaug Valley Community College, Mount Holyoke College, and Brown University. She has received honorary doctorates from Elizabethtown College, Bishop’s University, the University of Hartford, the University of South Florida, and the University of Rhode Island.

Previous Award Recipients

  • Lauren J. Asher ’87, nationally recognized expert on college affordability and outcomes
  • Aaron T. Beck ’42 DMS'82 hon., P'74, founder of cognitive therapy
  • Seth F. Berkley ’78 MD'81 DMS'22 hon., founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
  • Thomas G. Catena ’86 DMS'16 hon., medical doctor
  • Spencer R. Crew '71, P'00, P'04, historian, educator, and Smithsonian curator
  • Edwidge Danticat MFA’93 LITTD'08 hon., award-winning author
  • George M. C. Fisher ScM'64 PhD'66 LLD'91 hon., P'88, P'92, president, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer, Eastman Kodak Company
  • Kathryn Scott Fuller ’68 LHD’92 hon., P’06, president, World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation
  • James B. Garvin '78 ScM'81 PhD'84, P'17, chief scientist for NASA’s Mars and Lunar Exploration Programs
  • David R. Gockley ’65 DFA’93 hon., general director, Houston Grand Opera
  • Hermes C. Grillo ’44, P’87, chief of general thoracic surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Hill Harper ’88, film, television, and stage actor; author; philanthropist
  • Maggie Hassan ’80, P’15, American politician and attorney serving as the junior United States senator from New Hampshire
  • Richard C. Holbrooke ’62 LLD'97 hon., permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations
  • Lucile M. Jones ’76, seismologist
  • Jim Yong Kim ’82 DMS’09 hon., P’22 ScM’24 chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School
  • Irving R. Levine ’44 LITTD'69 hon., NBC News chief economics correspondent
  • Byron K. Lichtenberg ’69, astronaut, pilot, and engineer
  • Lois Hammersberg Lowry ’58 LITTD'14 hon., award-winning children’s author and illustrator
  • Kurt M. Luedtke ’61, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar winner
  • Linda S. Mason ’64, P’01, vice president, public affairs, CBS News
  • Jaykumar A. Menon ’90, international human rights lawyer
  • Zachary P. Morfogen ’50, P’87, founding chairman emeritus, National Hospice Foundation and the National Hospice Organization
  • Samuel M. Nabrit ScM'28 PhD'32 DSC'62 hon., educator and developmental biologist
  • Frank Newman ’47, former president, Education Commission of the States
  • Nawal M. Nour ’88, founder and director of the African Women’s Health Practice of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
  • Joseph V. Paterno ’50 LLD'75 hon., professor and head football coach, Pennsylvania State University
  • Thomas E. Pérez ’83 LLD’14 hon., P’18, assistant attorney general for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Barbara J. Reisman '71, P'02 MD'06, P'05, executive director, Child Care Action Campaign
  • William R. Rhodes ’57 LHD’05 hon., P’98, senior vice chairman, Citibank
  • Kenneth T. Roth ’77 LHD’11 hon., P’12, executive director of Human Rights Watch, the largest human rights organization in the U.S.
  • Malika Saada Saar ’92, founder and executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights
  • William H. Twaddell ’63, U.S. ambassador to Nigeria
  • Diana E. Wells ’88, president of Ashoka
  • Augustus A. White III '57 DMS'97 hon., P'98, distinguished surgeon
  • Gerard B. White ’86, co-founder, Landmine Survivors Network


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