Spring Commencement

Honorary Degree Recipients

Three celebrated individuals will receive honorary degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Spring Commencement on May 14.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt will preside over the Commencement ceremony, which will take place in Kenan Stadium at 9 a.m.

This year’s honorary degree recipients are:

Fred N. Eshelman


Fred Eshelman is Chairman of The Medicines Company (MDCO), and is the founder of Eshelman Ventures LLC, an investment company primarily interested in private healthcare companies.

Previously he founded and served as CEO and Executive Chairman of Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPDI, NASDAQ) prior to the sale of the company to private equity interests. After PPD he served as Founding Chairman and largest shareholder of Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX, NASDAQ), a company which licensed and rapidly developed new medicines. Furiex was sold to Forest Labs/Actavis in July, 2014. His career has also included positions as senior vice president (development) and board member of the former Glaxo, Inc., as well as various management positions with Beecham Laboratories and Boehringer Mannheim Pharmaceuticals. Eshelman has served on the executive committee of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina was appointed by the NC General Assembly to serve on the Board of Governors for the state’s multi campus university system (Chair of Audit Committee) as well as the NC Biotechnology Center. In addition he chairs the board of visitors for the School of Pharmacy at UNC-CH. One of the top pharmacy programs in the United States, in May 2008 the school was named the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in recognition of his many contributions to the school and the profession. Recently US News and World Report named the school Number 1 in the US.

He has received many awards including the Davie and Distinguished Service Awards from UNC, Outstanding Alumnus from both the UNC and University of Cincinnati schools of pharmacy, Life Science Leadership Award (CED) and the NC Business Hall of Fame. Eshelman received the doctor of pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati, completed a residency at Cincinnati General Hospital and a BS in pharmacy from UNC-CH. He is a graduate of the OPM program at Harvard Business School.

Patricia D. Horoho

Doctor of Laws

In December 2015 Lieutenant General (Retired) Patricia D. Horoho completed her 4 year tour of duty as the first female and nurse to command the U.S. Army’s Medical Command and serve as the Surgeon General of a Military Department throughout the 239 year history of the Department of Defense.

As a Soldier Patty served at every level of leadership within Army Medicine to include: Surgeon General and Army Medical Command Commanding General, Special Assistant to the Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Afghanistan, Deputy Surgeon General, Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, Western Regional Medical Command; Commander, Madigan Army and Commander Walter Reed Health Care System.

Patty is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982 and was recognized by the university as a distinguished graduate in 2015.  She received her Master of Science degree as a Clinical Trauma Nurse Specialist from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992.  Pitt recognized her as a legacy laureate and as a Distinguished Alumna and Fellow, and awarded her the Doctor of Public Service in Nursing.

In addition to those degrees she also holds a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and three honorary doctorates. Patty served a Distinguished Professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Graduate School of Nursing. Patty is also a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Among her recognitions, not all captured here but all of which are an honor to have received, are the following: she has been selected as one of North Carolina’s top 100, honored by Time Life Publications for her actions at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, among nurses selected by the American Red Cross and Nursing Spectrum to receive national recognition as a “Nurse Hero”, 2009 USO Woman of the Year, Tiffany Circle Distinguished Woman Warrior, first military service member and nurse to receive the New York Institute of Technology’s Riland Public Service Award, received the Helen Manzen Award from the New York University College of Nursing for exemplary leadership on behalf of the health of the nation; honored by the American Red Cross with the Women Who Care Humanitarian Award and Family Circle magazine has recognized her as one of our Nation’s most influential Moms. UNC-Chapel Hill has honored her with a grant in her name that is awarded to underprivileged students each year.

Military awards and citations include: The Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, France’s National Order of Legion of Honor, Chevalier (Knight), Japan's Defense Cooperation Award Second Class and the President’s Lifetime Achievement award.

In April 2016 Patty began her career with Accenture Federal Services as Client Account Lead and Managing Director for Military Health where she focuses her talents on Military Medicine and serves as a member of Accenture’s Global Health Board. 

She serves on the University Of Pittsburgh Board Of Trustees, the Advisory council for the MDW American Red Cross, the Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation Steering Committee and Advisory board, the Institute for Nursing Leaderships National Advisory council; Committee Member Boulercrest Retreat, INL NAC Targeted Appointments Committee; Member of the 2016 Women of Impact in Healthcare and the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.  She is also a Tiffany Circle Member, American Nurses Association and the NC Nurses Association. A grant in her name is awarded to underprivileged students each year at the University of North Carolina.

Patty is married to Army Colonel (Retired) Ray Horoho and have two wonderful children, John and Maggie Horoho.

Thomas Forrest Kelly

Doctor of Humane Letters

Thomas Forrest Kelly is Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard University, where he served as Chair of the Music Department from 1999 to 2004. In 2005 he was named a Harvard College Professor in recognition of his teaching of undergraduates.

Before coming to Harvard he taught at Oberlin Conservatory (where he was the founding director of the program in Historical Performance and served as acting Dean of the Conservatory); he taught at the Five Colleges in Massachusetts (Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire Colleges and the University of Massachuetts), where he was the founding director of the Five College Early Music Program. From 1972 to 1979 he taught at Wellesley College. He was a Visiting Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge (1976-77) and a Professeur invité at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris (1998).

Professor Kelly was born in Greensboro, NC in 1943. He attended Groton School, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A. B. 1964). Two years in France on a Fubright grant allowed him to study organ with Jean Langlais, and to take degrees at the Schola Cantorum in Paris (diplôme de virtuosité 1966) and the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM 1964). His graduate study was at Harvard (A. M. 1970, PhD 1973).

He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres of the French Republic and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy in Rome. He has held awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. His most recent book is Capturing Music (Norton, 2015); he is the author of First Nights: Five Performance Premieres (Yale, translated into Korean and Chinese), and Early Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, translated into German and Hungarian). His book The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge) was awarded the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for the most distinguished work of musicological scholarship of 1989. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. He is an honorary citizen of the city of Benevento (Italy).

In addition to performance and conducting connected with his teaching, Kelly was the Artistic Director of the Castle Hill Festival (Massachusetts, 1973-1983); the Director of the International Early Dance and Music Institute (1982-1984), and the Music Director of the Cambridge Society for Early Music (1977-1978).