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Three Educators to Receive Honorary Degrees at Juniata College

(Posted May 5, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College will honor a former university president, a noted historian of Anabaptist religions and an administrator from the Cochin University of Science and Technology by awarding them honorary doctorate of humane letters degrees May 11 at 2 p.m. during Juniata's 125th commencement ceremony.

Stanley Ikenberry, former president of the American Council on Education and former president of the University of Illinois, will deliver the commencement address after receiving his honorary degree. The other degree receipients are Donald F. Durnbaugh, an author and historian specializing in Anabaptist and Pietist religious history; and N. Unnikrishnan Nair, vice chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Cochin, India.

Ikenberry, now a regent professor and president emeritus at the University of Illinois, also is president of the Board of Overseers for TIAA-CREF, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund, one of the largest financial services providers in the world.

As president of the American Council on Education (ACE) from 1996 to 2001, Ikenberry led a coalition of more than 1,200 colleges and universities and 30 higher education associations to increase public awareness of how to plan and pay for college. He also led an effort to move the education of teachers to the forefront of the agendas for college and university presidents.

"To host an educator of Dr. Ikenberry's stature is a testimonial to the excellence of Juniata's academic programs," says Juniata president Thomas Kepple.

Ikenberry also served as president of the University of Illinois from 1979 to 1995. In his tenure there, he consolidated the University of Illinois at Chicago into the metropolitan area's largest research university campus. He also led the initiatives to create the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the university's Champaign-Urbana campus.

Before joining the University of Illinois, Ikenberry was senior vice president for administration at Penn State University from 1978 to 1979. He also held an appointment as professor of higher education. He served as senior vice president for university development and relations and as associate director of the Penn State Center for the Study of Higher Education from 1971 to 1978.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1956 from Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1957 and a doctorate in 1960, both from Michigan State University. He also holds 13 honorary degrees and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Donald Durnbaugh is a noted historian of Anabaptist and Pietist religions. Members of the Church of the Brethren (an Anabaptist religious movement) founded Juniata College in 1876. Durnbaugh has published more than 200 articles, reviews and essays on the history of the Brethren Church as well as other Anabaptist religious movements. He served as editor of "The Brethren Encyclopedia," a three-volume project, and is currently completing the fourth and final volume, scheduled to be published in 2004.

He also has written or edited 16 books. Some examples of the books he has written are "Fruit of the Vine: A History of the Brethren" and "The Believer's Church: The History and Character of Radical Protestantism." He also edited "The Brethren in Colonial America."

Durnbaugh started his academic career at Juniata as an assistant professor of history from 1958 to 1962. He left Juniata to become associate professor of church history at Bethany Theological Seminary from 1962 to 1988. In 1988, he returned to Juniata College for a one-year assignment as J. Omar Good Professor of Religion.

He served as professor of history and religion at Elizabethtown College from 1989 until retiring in 1993. He has served as Juniata's archivist since 1993.

Durnbaugh earned a bachelor's degree in history from Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. in 1949. He went on to earn a master's degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1952 and a doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960.

Durnbaugh has received the Manchester College Alumni Award in 1978 and received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the college in 1980.

Nair holds the position of vice chancellor, which is equivalent to the position of university president in the United States, at the renowned Indian university. Cochin is located about 700 miles south of Bombay. He has been instrumental in establishing an exchange program between the Brethren Colleges Abroad program and Cochin University of Science and technology.

Nair started his career as a mathematician, working at his alma mater, Kerala University in India. He worked as a lecturer in mathemematics at the university from 1964 to 1979. He was promoted to professor in 1979 and left the University of Kerala in 1986.

He began his administrative career at Cochin University of Science and Technology as director of youth welfare in 1986. He also maintained an active academic career as well, working as professor of statistics from 1987 to the present. He was promoted to director of the School for Mathematical Sciences in 1994, and named head of the Department of Statistics in 1996. In 1997, he served as visiting professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

In 1999, he was promoted to pro-vice chancellor at Cochin University of Science and Technology and was promoted to his present position in 2001. He has taught for more than 35 years and has written more than 70 articles and research papers. He also has written four books, including "Statistical Methods for Quality and Reliability."

Nair earned all his major academic degrees from Kerala University. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1962, a master's degree in 1964 and went on to earn another master's degree in 1987. He also earned a doctorate in 1983. All his graduate degrees are in the field of statistics.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.