Write Your Own Story

Honorary Degree Recipients

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The New York Public Library


Photo by
Stephen Voss

Ms. Alison Stewart
Award Winning Journalist and Author

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ph.D. is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research division of the New York Public Library, and a former associate professor of history at Indiana University. In July 2010, he was selected to take over the helm of the historic Schomburg Center, the world’s leading archive of its kind, which is currently celebrating its 89th year. Dr. Muhammad, a native of Chicago’s South Side, is an award-winning author. His book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, published by Harvard University Press, won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies. As an academic, Dr. Muhammad is at the forefront of scholarship on racial criminalization.

Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has been featured in the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, The Guardian (UK) and Atlanta Journal Constitution, as well as on Moyers and Company, MSNBC and National Public Radio. He has been an associate editor of The Journal of American History. He has served or currently serves on New York City Council’s Task force to Combat Gun Violence, the National Academy of Science’s Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration; the board of The Barnes Foundation; and the editorial board of Transition Magazine, published by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.

Khalil graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics in 1993, and then joined Deloitte & Touche, LLP, as a public accountant until entering graduate school. He earned his Ph.D. in U.S. History from Rutgers University in 2004, and holds an honorary doctorate from The New School. He spent two years as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit criminal justice reform agency in New York City, before joining the faculty of Indiana University.

Back to Top

Ms. Alison Stewart
Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa

During her more than two decades as a journalist, Alison Stewart has reported for all of the country’s major news networks, and has anchored her own groundbreaking and successful news programs on National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and MSNBC.

Stewart has reported from the floor of six presidential conventions during her decorated career, and has anchored major news events from Hurricane Katrina to the shootings at Virginia Tech University. She has reported from global locations such as Africa, Cuba, and Jordan, and reported live from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.  During her career, she has interviewed newsmakers including President Bill Clinton, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, singer/activist Bono, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, radio icon Howard Stern, movie titan Steven Spielberg and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

Stewart served as anchor for ABC World News Now from 2000 to 2002, and reported live from the World Trade Center during the attacks on 9/11. Her work earned her an Emmy award as part of ABC News’ coverage of the event.  She began her career as a producer/reporter for MTV News’ breakthrough political coverage Choose or Lose, for which she won a Peabody Award in 1992.

In addition to speaking at colleges across the country, Alison has moderated events for NYC’s 92nd Street Y, The World Science Festival, The Smithsonian Institution, The Connecticut Forum and the New School. She is the author of First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School. which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Essence and Mother Jones magazines.

A graduate of Brown University, Stewart was elected to The Board of Trustees of the Corporation of Brown in 2013. She has been also active in various charities, including Dress for Success, The Lighthouse, and Chess in the Schools. Currently, she lives in New York City and Woodstock, N.Y. with her husband and son.

Back to Top