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Honoring public service
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The University of Iowa will award honorary doctorates to three Iowans for their distinguished contributions to public service.
Former Iowa governor Robert Ray, former Iowa Board of Regents president Stanley Redeker, and pharmacy leader Robert Osterhaus will receive their degrees at the university's May 2012 commencement ceremonies.
UI president Sally Mason requested approval for the degrees from the Board of Regents, which provided unanimous support at its Dec. 8 meeting.
"Robert Ray, Stanley Redeker, and Robert Osterhaus exemplify the service and leadership qualities we aim to instill in our students," Mason says. "Their advocacy and actions have enhanced education, built strong communities, and inspired generations of Iowans."
Ray will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the UI. The Drake University graduate and attorney was elected Iowa governor at age 40 in 1969 and held the office until 1983. He's since served as interim president of Drake University and interim mayor of Des Moines, chaired the Iowa Sesquicentennial Commission, and promoted causes including character education for young people and fairness in the court system.
As governor, Ray was instrumental in managing the response to student demonstrations on Iowa campuses — particularly at the UI — during the late 1960s. Working with regents and university leaders, he established a policy of open communication with demonstrators and resisted public pressure for additional intervention.
Also during his tenure as governor, Ray signed legislation that created Iowa's Commission on the Status of Women and issued an executive order declaring state government positions open to all people regardless of race, color, or creed. He encouraged settlement of some 10,000 Southeast Asian refugees in Iowa following the Vietnam War, and later served as a delegate to the United Nations Conference on Refugees and special assistant to the United States' chief U.N. delegate.
Redeker will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Appointed to the Iowa Board of Regents in 1961, he served as board president from 1965 to 1973. He remains a community leader in Boone, Iowa, where he has held active roles with the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Boone Industrial Development Corporation, Lions Club, and Methodist Church.
As regents president, Redeker became a unifying force during a period of challenge and change. At the UI, enrollment, faculty, and tuition grew dramatically. Nationally, universities struggled to ensure equal opportunity, define their responsibilities to students, and address campus protest movements.
Redeker was a strong advocate for Iowa's public universities, working closely with the legislature and executive branch on higher education issues. He negotiated a controversial search for a UI president that resulted in the unanimous selection of Willard L. (Sandy) Boyd, and subsequently helped Boyd and Governor Robert Ray shape their measured response to campus protests over the Vietnam War.
Osterhaus will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree. An independent community pharmacy owner since 1965, he is a strong advocate for patient-focused pharmaceutical care, pharmacy education, and the pharmacy profession.
Osterhaus has mentored countless students and professionals. His business, Osterhaus-Snyder Pharmacy in Maquoketa, Iowa, is a leading community clerkship site for the UI College of Pharmacy, and has earned national recognition for its patient-centered approach and emphasis on the pharmacist's role in health care.
Osterhaus has served as board president for the Iowa Pharmacists Association; chair of the state Board of Pharmacy Examiners; president of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the American Pharmacists Association; and a member of the executive committee for the International Pharmaceutical Federation Community Pharmacy Section and the Governor's Medical Home Advisory Council for the Iowa Department of Public Health. He's received dozens of state, national, and international awards.
He also served four terms in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, contributing his perspective as a health care professional and shaping legislative initiatives like the HAWK-I insurance plan for children from low-income families.
A committee of UI faculty receives nominations for honorary degrees and forwards recommendations to the university's provost and president. The Iowa Board of Regents reviews and approves honorary degree requests.