Marlboro College


Honorary degree citations

Jessica Lange, Actress and Activist

Joseph Nye, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government

Loren Pope, Higher Education Expert and Author

Jessica Lange
Studs Terkel once quoted a baker as sayi ng, " Your work is your identity. It tells you who you are. There's such a joy in doing work well." Jessica Lange, you stand before us today as proof that whether we are a butcher, a baker or a movie maker, building a career that is an extension of our identity brings our lives integrity and meaning.

Your work for 25 years has been as an actor, starring in more than two dozen films. You have been lauded with the top honors of your field, your name is one of ready familiarity to movie goers everywhere, and critics gush over your talents. You have chosen your roles for their art, for their integrity, for their message, and not for the their potential box office returns. Other actors say you live a life they dream of. It is a life you have challenged yourself to pursue.

Your work on the stage and on the screen offers us insight into our own lives. In Men Don't Leave , you are a widowed mother of two, struggling against loss and depression to raise your family. In Music Box you are a daughter driven by love to defend her father, while coming to grips with the horror of his past. The depth and breadth of your talents have brought you success in roles any other actor may have failed in; such as when you portrayed the brilliant but volatile Frances Farmer in Frances and the embittered, morphine-addicted Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night .

You remind us that art has something to say about society and politics. With the movie Country you helped bring national attention to the epidemic of farm foreclosures sweeping the nation in the early 1980s, and you carried your concerns beyond the film studio, testifying on the topic before Congress. Your thoughtfulness and activism remain intact today, as you courageously speak out on issues of American domestic and foreign policies. The threats you have received as a result of your recent outspokenness have not quieted you; indeed they have if anything fueled your desire to have your concerns heard.

Some of your best work has been out of the public eye, as mother to your three children. As with any working parent, raising them has not been without its challenges, but you have remained committed to meeting those challenges, choosing the quiet country life of rural Virginia and your native Minnesota over the glitz and gloss of Beverly Hills.

Today, in the midst of an indisputably brilliant career, you hold out for all a message that artistic integrity, political courage, and love of family can go together in one joyous whole. Marlboro's first commencement speaker wrote a poem about how taking the road less traveled makes all the difference. The proof of Robert Frost's verse resides in the life you have constructed and which we honor today.

Jessica Lange, we are pleased to confer upon you this degree:

Doctor of Arts, Honorary

May 18, 2003


Joseph Nye

In a country that too often views the world in black and white, you teach us the value of nuance, complexity, and difference.

In a career spanning government and academe, you champion action over reaction, multilateralism over unilateralism, globalism over globalization. Amidst the squabbling of hawks and doves, you alight as an owl, seeking an informed course of action that incorporates the best of all perspectives in a reasoned middle ground.

During the 1970s you headed the Carter Administration's nuclear nonproliferation efforts. In the following decade, as a Harvard professor, you weighed in against the Reagan Administration's nuclear big-stick policies, advocating ethical and moral considerations in the nuclear deterrence debate. As an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton Administration you promoted engaging rather than containing our traditional adversaries. And now, back at Harvard as Dean of the Kennedy School of Government,   in your books, articles, interviews and speeches you call for a collaborative rather than a confrontational approach to international issues, be they trade with Europe or conflict in the Middle-East.

You tell us that America's power emanates from many strengths other than military might, and you encourage our country's leaders to build on those strengths by encouraging the flow of trade, information and culture between the world's nations. You tell us that the only way to fight terrorism is by working shoulder to shoulder with governments from around the globe.  

Throughout your career, whether you are teaching a class, briefing a President or heading an institute, you are in the role of educator, sharing knowledge you have garnered from a lifetime of global experience, living on four continents and traveling to more than 90 nations. You challenge us to make the difficult decisions, the informed decisions, the only kind of decisions the citizens of the world's sole superpower should make. We would do well to heed your advice.

Joseph Nye, we are pleased to confer upon you the degree:

Doctor of Laws, Honorary

May 18, 2003


Loren Pope

Several years ago, when statistically ranking the country's top colleges was all the rage, a book appeared that questioned our obsession with brand name institutions. The book was called Colleges that Change Lives , by Loren Pope, and it highlighted 40 colleges that didn't necessarily appear at the top of anyone's list, but that he felt offered students equal if not better educational experiences than their more ivied brethren.

For the author the book represented a lifetime interest of matching young people with the best education for their interests and abilities. In the early 1940s--living in a house he'd convinced Frank Lloyd Wright to design him for free--Loren began taking a keen interest in his children's elementary education, leading the fight for better local schools. This personal interest in education found its way into Loren's work. His coverage of education issues attracted the attention of the New York Times , which named him education editor.

As his children graduated from high school, Loren became painfully aware of how little sound advice was available for parents and prospective college students.   So he took his fight to a different plane and founded the College Placement Bureau, offering young people and their parents guidance on finding the right schools. Loren's work became his passion and he traveled the country to research first hand colleges and universities. He came to an important conclusion: that the most important qualities of a college are not the football league they play in, or their ranking in a news magazine, but their ability to engage their students, to challenge them intellectually and creatively and inspire them to think for themselves.

In the following years, in three books, many articles and countless conversations on the road, Loren has extoled the value of the small liberal arts colleges that embody these values. In the process he discovered Marlboro and has become a good friend. Today, at the age of 92, Loren is still active in his calling, regularly meeting with members of his beloved colleges that change lives, continuing to articulate so clearly the educational philosophy we hold dear.

We are pleased to confer upon Loren Pope the degree:

Doctor of Humane Letters, Honorary

May 18, 2003





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