Published: April 29, 1999

MSU to recognize four with honorary degrees

Contact: University Relations (517) 355-2281, or


EAST LANSING, Mich. - Four distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions in the fields of international politics, cancer research, business and the humanities will be recognized by Michigan State University during spring commencement ceremonies Friday, May 7.

The undergraduate convocation ceremony is set for 1 p.m. at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. The advanced degree ceremony takes place at 7 p.m., also at the Breslin Center.

Honorary degrees will be presented to:

  • Jean Chrétien, prime minister of Canada, will speak at the advanced degree ceremony. He will receive an honorary doctor of laws.
  • Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate, human rights advocate and world-renowned Jewish scholar, will speak at the undergraduate convocation. He will receive an honorary doctor of humanities.
  • Loretta L. VanCamp, co-discoverer of the cisplatin anti-cancer drug, who will receive an honorary doctor of science at the undergraduate convocation.
  • Frederick S. Addy, former executive vice president, chief financial officer and director of the Amoco Corp., who will receive an honorary doctor of humanities at the advanced degree ceremony.

The undergraduate convocation ceremony also includes remarks by student speaker Michael Consolmagno of Staten Island, N.Y., a senior majoring in chemistry, and the presentation of the senior class gift. Others to be recognized include the MSU Board of Trustees GPA Award winners, national and international scholarship winners and the Senior Class Council.

Biographies of the honorary degree recipients follow:


Frederick S. Addy of Austin, Texas, has a distinguished record of achievement in the fields of corporate finance, educational support and community service.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in business and master's degree in marketing from MSU, he began his business career with Amoco Corp. in Chicago in 1957. He has held a series of top positions, including vice president and treasurer of Amoco and key posts in the corporation's principal subsidiaries.

Addy was appointed Amoco's executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1990, was elected a member of the board of directors and also served on the board of Amoco Canada. He retired from the company April 1, 1994.

During a career spanning nearly four decades, he established a reputation for integrity and a mastery of challenging intricacies of corporate finance on a global scale. He was a central figure in such milestone transactions as the acquisition by Amoco of Dome Petroleum Co., which at the time, was the largest business merger in the history of Canada.

Addy serves as a director of EEX Corp. and on the board of the investment firm of Baker Fentress & Co. and the Pierpont Funds.

He also served as chairperson of the American Petroleum Institute's Committee on Finance, Accounting and Information Systems and as a member of the Conference Board's Council of Financial Executives.

In the field of education he has been a strong and consistent supporter of MSU. He was the commencement speaker for The Eli Broad College of Business in 1996 and received the college's Outstanding Alumni Award in 1992. His wife, Marilyn (Marshall), is also a graduate of MSU. They are members of the Frank S. Kedzie Society and have endowed the Frederick S. Addy Distinguished Chair in Finance.

In addition, he has served as chairman of the board of trustees of Roosevelt University and as a member of the board of Lake Forest College.

Addy, who was born in Boston, served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1956. The couple has three grown children and 10 grandchildren. He is a trustee of the Austin, Texas, Lyric Opera.


Loretta L. VanCamp of Lansing is one of the three co-discoverers of the cisplatin anti-cancer drug. The joint work of VanCamp, Barnett Rosenberg and Thomas M. Krigas has contributed to the well- being of mankind since the work was begun at MSU in the 1960s. Cisplatin is the most widely used and effective treatments for cancer in the world to date.

VanCamp received her bachelor of science in medical technology in the MSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1948. Along with Rosenberg, an MSU researcher and biophysicist, she collaborated on more than a dozen scientific publications before their research culminated in the discovery of the anti-cancer drugs cisplatin and carboplatin. Over the years the patents resulting from her work and bearing her name have generated millions of dollars for the MSU Foundation.

Her contributions to the field continued after her retirement from MSU in 1982. VanCamp and Estelle McGroarty, associate dean of the College of Natural Science, continued to probe the mechanism of anti-cancer drugs at the cellular level and to explore possible topic side effects as well as antidotes. She has also published papers with McGroarty. She is currently working with James Trosco, professor of pediatrics and human development, on cancer research.

She was an exceptional mentor for many of the graduate students in the lab and in the biophysics department and served as a role model for many students who passed through her lab.

She is a member of the MSU Benefactors, as well as a member of the Inner Circle in MSU's Ralph Young Fund in support of Spartan athletes.

She and her husband, the late Howard VanCamp, have two children, Thomas and Janet.


Mr. Chrétien's distinguished career in politics spans more than 30 years, beginning with his first election to the House of Commons in 1963 where he represented the constituency of Saint-Maurice-Lafleche in the province of Quebec. He was re-elected in 1965.

In 1965 he was appointed parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and in 1966 to the minister of finance. In 1967 he became minister of state attached to the minister of finance and in 1968 was appointed minister of national revenue.

He returned to the House of Commons in 1968, representing a new constituency of Saint-Maurice and was sworn in as minister of Indian affairs and northern development, a post he held until 1974 when he was appointed president of the Treasury Board.

In 1976 he was appointed minister of industry, trade and commerce and in 1977 became minister of finance, a Cabinet post he held until 1979. He returned to the House of Commons for a sixth consecutive term in the May 22, 1979 election.

Mr. Chrétien was appointed minister of justice and attorney general of Canada and minister of state for social development in 1980 and was also given the additional task of minister responsible for constitutional negotiations. In 1982 he was named minister of energy, mines and resources.

In 1984 he was appointed deputy Prime Minister and secretary of state for external affairs and re-elected as the member of parliament for Saint-Maurice and critic for external affairs. He resigned from the House of Commons in 1986.

In 1990 he was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and as a member of parliament, where he served as leader of the opposition of the House of Commons.

He was re-elected member of parliament in 1993 when his party won a majority of seats in the House of Commons and was sworn in as Prime Minister on Nov. 4, 1993.

As Prime Minister, he was re-elected member of parliament for the riding of St. Maurice on June 2, 1997, with his party winning a second consecutive majority of seats in the House of Commons.

He was born in Shawinigan, Quebec, Jan. 11, 1934. After attending schools in Shawinigan, Joliette and Trois-Rivieres he studied law at Laval University.

Mr. Chrétien has received honorary degrees from many universities, including the University of Western Ontario, York University, Glendon College in Toronto, the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the University of Ottawa, Wilfrid Laurier University, Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan, and The Warsaw School of Economics in Poland.

He and his wife, Alaine, have three children, France, Hubert and Michel.


Born on Sept. 30, 1928 in Sighet, Romania, Elie Wiesel and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz when he was 15 years old. His mother and younger sister perished there, and his two older sisters survived. Wiesel and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died.

Following World War II, Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist there. After years of silence about his experiences in the concentration camps, Wiesel wrote "Night." Since its publication in 1958, "Night" has been translated into 25 languages and millions of copies have been sold.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust and in 1980 he became founding chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Wiesel is also the founding president of the Paris-based Universal Academy of Cultures.

His efforts have earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award; Four Freedoms Award; Ellis Island Medal of Honor; the rank of grand officer in the French Legion of Honor; and in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. He has received more than 90 honorary degrees from colleges and universities from all over the world.

Three months after he received the Nobel Peace Prize, Wiesel and his wife Marion established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Its mission is to advance the cause of human rights and peace throughout the world by creating a new forum for the discussion of urgent ethical issues confronting humanity.

The Elie Wiesel Foundation has held several international conferences, which explore peace efforts across the globe. The first major project undertaken by the foundation was a conference of Nobel laureates convened jointly by Wiesel and French President Francois Mitterrand. The 79 laureates from five continents met in January 1988 in Paris to explore issues related to the conference theme, "Facing the 21st Century: Threats and Promises."

Wiesel has written more than 40 books which have won numerous awards including the Prix Médicis for "A Beggar in Jerusalem," the Prix Livre Inter for "The Testament" and the Grand Prize for Literature from the City of Paris for "The Fifth Son." He is also the recipient of the International Literary Prize for Peace and two National Jewish Book Awards.

He also serves on a number of boards of directors, trustees, governors and advisers, including the International Rescue Committee, American Jewish World Service, Yad Vashem, Mutual of America Life Insurance Co., AmeriCares and the U.S. Committee for Refugees.

Wiesel has been Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at the City University of New York (1972-76) and the Henry Luce Visiting Scholar in the Humanities and Social Thought at Yale University (1982-83). Since 1976, Wiesel has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.