Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Humane Letters
School of Nursing, October 14, 2007
Dr. Maya Angelou is described as a "remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature." She is a poet, educator, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer, and director. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including the renowned I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She is the second poet in U.S. history to write and recite an original work for a Presidential Inauguration. At President Bill Clinton's Inaugural Ceremony in 1993, she delivered her dedicatory poem titled "On the Pulse of Morning." She has written several screenplays and composed the scores as well. The 1972 film Georgia, Georgia was the first screenplay by an African American woman to be filmed and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She is the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions including the Ladies Home Journal Woman of the Year in Communication Award (1976); Top 100 Most Influential Women (1983); the Golden Eagle Award for her documentary, Afro-American in the Arts (1977); and, named one of the Top 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century. She was appointed as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in 1981. Her poem, Phenomenal Woman, won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word or Non Musical Album in 1995. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton. In 2006, she received the Mother Teresa Award for her untiring devotion and service to humanity. To date, she has received 33 honorary degrees from colleges and universities across the country.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.