Sumner B. Tilton Jr.
Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)
Mr. President, I have the honor of presenting Sumner B. “Tony” Tilton Jr., a life member of the Board of Trustees, the namesake for one of the campus’ most iconic spaces, and a tireless champion for Clark University.
Mr. Tilton, your allegiance to Clark University has been nothing short of extraordinary. A longtime partner and director of one of Worcester’s most prestigious law firms and a person who cares deeply about his hometown, you recognized in Clark an institution where the commitment of your talent, time and resources would make a difference. To that end you joined the Board of Trustees in 1976, quickly becoming a powerful force for the University’s success.
Throughout your tenure you have served in multiple capacities, including as board chair, bringing your insights and intellect to the mission of creating a great university. As a longtime member of the Investment Committee, you have helped steer a steady financial course for Clark in economic times both flush and challenging, thanks to a combination of shrewd decision-making and an appreciation for long-term growth over short-term gain. You have been a trusted adviser to the board and to four Clark presidents.
We are grateful that you have never lost sight of the need for Clark University and the City of Worcester to cultivate and maintain a productive working relationship. Indeed, your sustained commitment to both Clark and the city has helped lead us to a point where we are recognized as a national model for how a university and its community can work together for mutual benefit.
As we stand here today, we look across the green to the Higgins University Center, and the jewel contained inside, Tilton Hall, named in honor of your generous support. This expansive space has become the hub for the University’s communal gatherings — the site of stimulating lectures by world-renowned scholars, academic conferences, and more than a few Clark weddings.
Mr. Tilton — Tony — you do all this for Clark University, even though you yourself are not a Clark graduate. We, of course, proudly claim you as our own.
Mr. President, on behalf of the Trustees, faculty, students and staff of Clark University, I request that the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, be conferred on Sumner B. Tilton Jr.