What can be said for Isaac Asimov? Known to all as author, interpreter of science, and visionary, you honor us by your presence here on this day when we seek to honor you. A prodigious writer whose subject matter ranges from Shakespeare to the stars and from randy robots to the Bible — what more can be said of thee?
Perhaps we should look to others for inspiration.
With ever-living glory,
Does not deny his majesty
He scorns to tell a story!
He don’t exclaim, ‘I blush for shame,
So kindly be indulgent.’
But, fierce and bold, in fiery gold.,
He glories all effulgent.
I mean to rule the earth,
As he the sky —
We really know our worth.,
The sun and I!
Observe his flame, that placid dame,
The moon’s Celestial highness;
There’s not a trace upon her face
Of diffidence or shyness
She borrows light that, through the night, Mankind may all acclaim her!
And, truth to tell, she lights up well,
So I, for one, don’t blame her!
Ah, pray make no mistake,
We are not shy;
We’re very wide awake,
The moon and I!”
Gilbert and Sullivan
Isaac Asimov, you have been both sun and moon to our generation, shining forth in blazing glory and during times of darkness, reflecting that glory to illuminate our future.
Mr. President, I am therefore pleased on behalf of the trustees, faculty, and students at Clark University, to present Isaac Asimov in order that the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, be conferred upon him.
From the Clark archives: Download Isaac Asimov’s Commencement address.