Professor Katharine T. Bartlett receives honorary degree from Wheaton College

May 19, 2008Duke Law News

May 19, 2008 — Katharine T. Bartlett, A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law and former dean of Duke Law School, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Wheaton College on May 17. A 1968 graduate of the liberal arts college in Norton, Mass., Bartlett also delivered the keynote address at the commencement ceremony honoring Wheaton’s Class of 2008.

“Through your example as a lawyer, legal scholar, educator, and citizen, you encourage us to reach for our best selves,” said Wheaton College President Ronald A. Crutcher in presenting Bartlett with her degree. “The sharp intellect with which you earned high honors at Wheaton now focuses on the rights of women, children, and individuals who have been marginalized.” Crutcher noted that one of Bartlett’s many articles, “Feminist Legal Methods,” is among the most cited law review articles on any subject. He also cited Bartlett’s achievements as dean of Duke Law School, observing that the seven new law clinics established during her tenure “enhanced its capacity for building civil society.”

In her address to Wheaton’s 2008 graduates, Bartlett recalled her challenge to all first-year Duke Law students on their first day of orientation — to write the recommendation letter they hoped could be written about them when they graduated.

“Consistent with the self-reflected intentional values for which Wheaton stands, I recommend to you the same,” she said. “What do you want to be able to have said about you in five years, in ten years, or 40 years from today when you return for your 40th Wheaton reunion? What do you want to have become, as evidenced not only by your tangible achievements, but how you respond to the bad moments, how you treat those who are not in a position to do anything for you, and what kind of commitments you keep? What will you do going forward so that this letter can be written about you?”

Read Professor Katharine T. Bartlett’s keynote address.

Read Wheaton College President Ronald A. Crutcher’s citation.
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