Bayer, Cooper to be honored at Spring Commencement


Newman alum and former basketball star Michael Bayer, M.D. ’73, and former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs B. Lee Cooper, Ph.D. will each receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree during the Spring 2009 Commencement May 16. Newman revived the practice of awarding honorary degrees in fall 2008, and will bestow degrees upon two notable and accomplished members of the extended Newman community at each fall and spring commencement. The recipients are selected based on their dedication to one of the university’s four Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective.

Bayer, who was selected because of his exemplary service, is co-founder of the Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM), a non-profit organization that distributes free wheelchairs to the physically disabled in developing nations around the globe. To date, the FWM has distributed close to 400,000 chairs in more than 70 countries.

Cooper, who was selected as a model of Academic Excellence, retired from Newman in 2007. He made many contributions to the academic vitality of the university during his tenure. Cooper also served as professor of American history and culture, and president protem from 2006 to 2007. He is a noted scholar on American popular music, and has published more than 200 articles and 15 books.

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