Governors State University to Award Two Honorary Degrees to a Poet and a Journalist who Exemplify University Values

UNIVERSITY PARK—(ENEWSPF)—May 12, 2015. Two innovative communicators who connect the troubles and concerns of modern America to the day-to-day lives of its people are the recipients of Honorary Degrees from Governors State University.

The honorees—poet, writer, and educator Nikki Giovanni, and journalist and author Elizabeth Brackett— “exemplify GSU’s values: education, civic engagement, and the search for truth,” said GSU President Elaine P. Maimon. “Each honoree has devoted her career to creating a more enlightened society.”

Nikki Giovanni’s poetry has given voice to the voiceless, reaching both the downtrodden and everyday Americans who feel powerless. Her writing has given generations of readers hope and inspiration.

As University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech University, Giovanni helped to heal a campus scarred by the shooting massacre in 2007, encouraging students to be strong in her Convocation address by intoning “We are Virginia Tech. We will prevail.”

The reporting of Elizabeth Brackett reflects her commitment to issues such as urban decay, schools in crisis and American politics. A respected veteran of four Chicago TV news operations, she has kept viewers engaged in the important matters of the day with her work on PBS. For 20 years, as a full-time staff correspondent on “Chicago Tonight,” Brackett has made her viewers feel connected to their communities through engaging reports and in-depth interviewing.

Connecting the disconnected is a quality both the GSU honorees share. Each has used her ability to touch the lives of people through her unique worldview. Each has devoted her career to creating a more enlightened society.

Governors State University will hold its annual Commencement Ceremonies Saturday, May 16 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Nikki Giovanni will receive her Honorary Degree during the 10 a.m. ceremony; Elizabeth Brackett will receive her Honorary Degree at the 5 p.m. ceremony. Admission to the Commencement Ceremonies is by ticket only.