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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Honorary Degree Recipients

Marjorie Bryan BuckleyMarjorie Bryan Buckley
Doctor of Laws

Marjorie Buckley is a former teacher, lifelong volunteer and visionary philanthropist. A native of Goldsboro, N.C., Buckley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carolina in 1962 with an A.B. in Education.

Buckley’s support was instrumental in founding the Carolina Center for Public Service. Dedicated in 1999, the center focuses on public service initiatives throughout the University and fosters a service ethic and practice among our students, faculty and staff. In addition she has endowed Professorships in both the School of Medicine and the School of Education.

Her honors include the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal (2004), the Board of Trustees’ William Richardson Davie Award (2005), St. Mary’s School Distinguished Alumnae Award (2010), the Governor of North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine (2011), and the Kurt Hahn Award (1992), the highest form of recognition conferred by Outward Bound in the United States.


Biddy Martin Biddy Martin
Doctor of Laws

Biddy Martin is the 19th president of Amherst College, a position she has held since 2011. Previously, she served as provost of Cornell University and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native of rural Virginia, Martin was her high school’s valedictorian and set a school scoring record for basketball. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of William and Mary, and earned a Ph.D. in German literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Martin is the author of many scholarly articles and two books, “Woman and Modernity: The Lifestyles of Lou Andreas-Salome” (1991) and “Femininity Played Straight: The Significance of Being Lesbian” (1996). Her record of teaching and scholarship in German studies and women’s studies has earned her membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, but it is as an administrative leader in higher education that she has made her most enduring contributions.


Armistead Jones Maupin Jr.

Armistead Jones Maupin Jr.
Doctor of Letters

Armistead Maupin, Carolina Class of 1966, grew up in Raleigh. As an undergraduate here he wrote a column for the Daily Tar Heel and was elected vice president of the senior class. After graduation, Maupin worked at WRAL-TV in Raleigh before enlisting in the United States Navy.
Maupin later worked as a reporter in Charleston, S.C., and then with the Associated Press in San Francisco. In 1976, while at the San Francisco Chronicle, he launched the groundbreaking work that would propel his literary career for almost four decades. “Tales of the City” began as a serialized novel—perhaps the most successful example of that genre since Charles Dickens—and eventually became a sequence of nine globally bestselling books. In 1994, “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City” became a PBS miniseries which won a Peabody Award.


Beverly Eaves Perdue Beverly Eaves Perdue
Doctor of Laws

Beverly Eaves Perdue served as the 73rd governor of North Carolina, having been elected to that position in 2008 following two terms as the 32nd lieutenant governor. Previously, she had served in both houses of the General Assembly, including five terms in the Senate where she rose to leadership as the senior budget writer. She is the first woman to have held either of North Carolina’s highest elective offices.

Perdue was born and raised in Grundy, Va., where her father worked as a coal miner and eventually came to own several companies in the coal business. Perdue earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and both a master’s degree in education and a doctoral degree in education administration from the University of Florida. She is one of only two North Carolina governors to hold an earned doctorate.
As governor during the most difficult economic times in decades she maintained the state’s triple-A credit rating and worked tirelessly to preserve North Carolina’s commitment to education from kindergarten to college.
In 2013, Perdue served as a resident fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and was later named a distinguished visiting fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, where she also serves as an advisor to Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy. Currently she is founder and chair of the Digital Learning Institute, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Anne Firor Scott Anne Firor Scott
Doctor of Humane Letters 

Anne Firor Scott, a pioneering historian of American women whose efforts helped open the doors of the history profession to female scholars, is William K. Boyd Professor Emerita of History at Duke University. In the 1960s and 1970s, Scott was a founder of the field of U.S. women’s history, and especially of southern women’s history. Her pathbreaking book “The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics” (1970) moved women from the margins to the center of southern history.

Inspired to study women reformers after working for the National League of Women Voters in the 1940s, Scott had earned her Ph.D. at Harvard/Radcliffe in 1958. In 1961, she took a history position at Duke until a “suitable replacement” for a departing man could be found. By 1980 she was William K. Boyd Professor of History and the first woman to chair Duke’s history department. She would go on to serve as president of the Organization of American Historians (1983–84) and then the Southern Historical Association (1989), and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.