Mr. President: On behalf of the faculty and trustees of Clark University, I have the honor and pleasure to present Flora Lewis, distinguished author and one of the great journalists of the twentieth century.
Flora Lewis, for most of the past forty-five years you have tirelessly researched, reported and analyzed the great events of our time. In the course of your career you have written three books, thousands of dispatches from around the globe, and hundreds of articles and essays on topics as wideranging as the modern world itself. Your special contribution has been to inform Americans of the multifaceted complexity of the nations and peoples of Europe both East and West.
Your career has kept you constantly in motion and usually living abroad. You have made your home in many cities: Los Angeles, New York, Washington, London, Prague, Warsaw, Berlin, the Hague, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Bonn, and finally Paris, where you have spent much of the past fifteen years. If the constant travel of a journalist has made you feel occasionally homeless, rest assured that your well-informed reports, essays and columns have helped make the rest of us feel more “at home” in the world.
Your trademarks in journalism are thoroughness and accuracy, an astonishing breadth of interests, a belief in objectivity coupled with a passionate concern for reducing human folly, ignorance and misery. You exhibit in all your work a deep moral commitment to fairness and to that most elusive thing — the truth — in a world you see as multipolar, complex, sometimes depressing, but not yet hopeless.
You have already been much honored in this country and abroad, but your greatest honor is the respect you have won, not only from your fellow Americans and fellow journalists, but from the people among whom you have lived and worked around the globe. You have been that most admirable of American citizens: a dedicated citizen of the world.
Mr. President, on behalf of the trustees, faculty, students, and staff of Clark University and in recognition of the tireless service of this distinguished author and journalist who has done so much to sharpen our vision, deepen our understanding, and enliven our compassion, I request that the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, be conferred upon her.