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Muhlenberg College Announces Honorary Degree Recipients

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – (April 12, 2007) – Muhlenberg College will award honorary doctoral degrees to Ruth Abram, John Jones and Edmund Pellegrino at its 159th Commencement ceremony, Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on the College Green.
           
Ruth J. Abram is President of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which she founded in 1988.  The Tenement Museum, whose mission is “to promote tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the variety of immigrant and migrant experiences on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a gateway to America,” is undertaking the nation’s first effort to preserve and interpret a 19th Century tenement building.  Its building is the first tenement to be designated a National Historic Landmark.  Using the building and its Lower East Side neighborhood, the Museum has pioneered the interpretation of the home and community life of urban, immigrant, working class and poor peoples, and it has set precedent in using history as a tool for addressing contemporary social issues.
           
Within a short period of time, the Tenement Museum has become a national symbol. In l998 President Clinton signed legislation authorizing an affiliation between the National Park Service twinning the Tenement Museum with Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty.  One month later, the Museum’s tenement became the 20th featured property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, joining such famous homesteads as James Madison’s Montpelier, Woodrow Wilson House, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio. 
           
In its first six years, the Museum grew from a storefront operation with a volunteer staff of two and opening balance of $75,000 to an important New York cultural and educational institution with staff, consultants and volunteers numbering over 100 and an annual budget of over $5 million.
           
The Tenement Museum is the outgrowth of Paraphrase, Inc., not-for-profit corporation also founded by Abram to interpret scholarship to the general public. 
           
Abram’s writings have appeared in many publications.  She is the author of a book, Send Us a Lady Physician (W.W.Norton), and her other works have been appeared in publications such as: Philadelphia County Medical Society Journal; Information Please Almanac; Midwest Poetry Review; Poetry Magazine; New York Times Book Review; History News; Museum International; Public Historian; and Washington Post. She has contributed to the books Museums, Society, Inequality and Looking Reality In The Eye: Museums and Social Responsibility.  She also wrote the introduction to A Coat of Many Colors: Immigration, Globalization, and Reform in New York City’s Garment Industry.
           
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College with an MSW from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University, Abram has an MA in American History from New York University, where she was a Kennan Fellow.  In 1975, President Jimmy Carter appointed Abram a Commissioner of International Women’s Year.  Abram is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including: the Camille Mermod Award from the American Medical Women’s Association; the Aspen Institute’s Alvin Brown Fellowship; New York University’s Distinguished Alumni and Alumnae of the Year Award; Honorary Doctor of Public Service, Russell Sage Colleges; the Arts and Business Council Award for Excellence in Managing an Arts Organization; Sarah Lawrence College’s Alumnae of Distinction Award; the Women in Preservation Award; and the Briscoe Award of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center.
           
Since 1967, Ruth Abram has been married to Herbert Teitelbaum, an attorney. They have two children, Anna and Noah.

Judge John E. Jones III commenced his service as a United States District Judge on August 2, 2002. He is the 21st judge to sit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
           
Jones was appointed to his current position by President George W. Bush in February, 2002, and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on July 30, 2002.
           
Jones has presided over several noteworthy and high profile cases. In 2003, Jones struck down portions of Shippensburg University’s speech code on the basis that they violated the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. In that same year he ruled, in a decision later affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statute assessing milk producers in order to fund advertising, including the Milk Mustache/got milk® campaign did not infringe the free speech rights of the producers. In 2005, Jones presided over the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, after which he held that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design within a public school science curriculum.  In 2006 he ruled that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s ballot access procedure for minor political parties did not violate the Constitution.
           
In November 1994, Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Ridge named Jones as a co-chair of his transition team and subsequently nominated him to fill a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  Jones served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a total of seven years and two months, until he assumed his current duties. 
           
During his tenure on the Liquor Control Board, he implemented substantial changes in liquor licensing procedures which were designed to both streamline and shorten the process.  He managed a workforce of over four thousand people, and administered a budget in excess of one billion dollars. Jones also gained national attention in the area of alcohol education, with particular emphasis on underage drinking on college campuses, as well as drunk driving.  In November 2000, Jones’ contributions were recognized when he received the Government Leadership Award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving in Washington, D.C.  At the time of his appointment to the bench, Jones was a board member, and president-elect, of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA).
           
Jones received the 2006 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Dickinson School of Law, as well as an honorary doctorate in law and public policy from Dickinson College.  In May 2006, Jones was named by Time Magazine as one of its Time 100, the one hundred most influential people in the world. Jones has also received a Rave Award for Policy from Wired Magazine. In 2006, Jones was the recipient of the first John Marshall Judicial Independence Award, which will be presented annually by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. In 2005, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania appointed Jones to the Pennsylvania Commission on Judicial Independence.
           
Jones was born and raised in Schuylkill County, Pa., and is a graduate of the Mercersburg Academy, Dickinson College, and the Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University.  
           
He resides in his native Pottsville, and has been married to his wife Beth Ann since 1982. They are the parents of daughter Meghan (who is a member of Muhlenberg’s graduating class), and son John.
 
           
Dr. Edmund Pellegrino
is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University.  
           
He has served as Director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University; head of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Ethics at Georgetown; President of Catholic University; President and Chairman of the Yale-New Haven Medical Center; Chancellor and Vice President of Health Affairs at the University of Tennessee; founding Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Kentucky; and Founding Director and Vice President of the Health Sciences Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, where he oversaw six schools of health sciences and the hospital, and served as Health Affairs Dean of the School of Medicine.
           
He has authored or co-authored 24 books and more than 550 published articles; is founding editor of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy; a Master of the American College of Physicians; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; recipient of a number of honorary doctorates; and a recipient of the Benjamin Rush Award from the American Medical Association, and the Abraham Flexner Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
           
In 2004, Pellegrino was named to the International Bioethics Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is the only advisory body within the United Nations system to engage in reflection on the ethical implications of advances in life sciences.
           
Throughout his career, Dr. Pellegrino has continued seeing patients in clinical consults, teaching medical students, interns and residents, and doing research. Since his retirement in 2000, Dr. Pellegrino has remained at Georgetown, continuing to write, teach medicine and bioethics, and participate in regular clinical attending services.

 

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