MSPP Thirty-Second Commencement, 2012
Conferral of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa upon Hortensia Amaro, PhD
This degree is offered “honoris causa” or “out of respect or admiration.” A medieval tradition allows institutions of higher learning to waive the usual academic work that is the requirement of the doctor’s degree for those who have so distinguished themselves in the “college of life” that their accomplishments warrant this recognition and the academy desires them to be among its faculty of professors.
Educator, Researcher, Organizer, Guru
You are the change that you wish to see. You bring the intuition of a social scientist, the compassion that knows no “other”, the skill of an organizer and the love of a sister to improve the lives of traumatized persons and to inspire all of us to accomplish great things.
Whereas, you have diligently brought the discipline of social science to research the best practices in health care and you bring these principles to shape and support the treatment of the most disenfranchised among us; and Whereas, you have been a tireless caregiver, advocate, and champion for people with HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and substance abuse; and
Whereas, as founder of the Institute on Urban Health Research you brought important attention to racial and ethnic disparities in health care and at the MOM’s Project and Moving On to Recovery and Empowerment you creatively engaged the hydra of problems that women face in recovery from addiction; and
Whereas, you have inspired your students, educated behavioral health professionals, been a brilliant role model and developed the only HIV prevention strategy with proven effectiveness for Latinas; and
Whereas, you have supported the work of our Lucero Latino Mental Health Program from its inception; and
Whereas, you think quickly, feel passionately and encounter others with the utmost respect.
By virtue of the authority invested in me by the Board of Trustees and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I confer upon you the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, and invest you with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. In token, thereof, I hand to you this Diploma and direct that you be vested with the hood appropriate to your degree.
Nicholas A. Covino, President
June 3, 2012