Three world-renowned leaders in their respective feields – Marina Abramovic, Bruce Russett ’56 and Margarito “Gary” B. Teves (CDE ’68) – will receive honorary degrees at the Commencement ceremony on June 5, along with speakers Cory A. Booker, Ann Bancroft and Ken Burns.
Each year, the Honorary Degrees Committee selects appropriate candidates for honorary degrees and presents them to the Board of Trustees. The committee includes a faculty member from each division, two seniors, two juniors, multiple trustees, President Falk and the College Marshal.
New York-based, Yugoslavia-born performance artist Abramovic was born in 1946. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade from 1965 to 1970 and finished her postgraduate studies in 1972 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia.
Abramovic rose to prominence after the inauguration of performance art in the early 1970s. She is known for her extensive collection of sound pieces, photographs, video projects, installations and solo and collaborative performances.
Abramovic’s works explore the relationships between artist and audience and between mind and body. The Museum of Modern Art in New York hosted Abramovic’s first extensive retrospective in the United States last spring, in which she performed a 736-hour piece titled “The Artist is Present.”
In addition to performing solo shows and many large exhibitions, Abramovic lectures at institutions across the country and in Europe. Her honors include the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Best Artist in 1997, a Bessie Award in 2003 and the Austrian Commander Cross for her contributions to art history in 2008.
Bruce Russett ’56
Russett was born in North Adams, Mass. in 1935. After earning a B.A. in political economy from the College in 1956, Russett received a diploma in economics from Cambridge University in 1957 and a Ph.D. from Yale in 1961.
Russett has taught at Yale since 1962. He is a professor of political science and of international and area studies. Russett has also held numerous visiting appointments around the globe at prestigious institutions such as Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Michigan, the University of Tel Aviv and Tokyo University Law School.
A scholar of world politics and international security, Russett was editor of Yale’s Journal of Conflict Resolution from 1973 until 2009. One of his many published works, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence and International Organizations, was awarded the International Studies Association’s Best Book of the Decade for 2000-2009.
Russett is currently a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Scientists and served as the past president of the Peace Society and the International Studies Association.
Margarito “Gary” B. Teves (CDE ’68)
Born in the Philippines in 1943, Teves received his B.A. in business economics from the City of London College in 1965. He obtained his M.A. in 1968 from the College’s Center for Development Economics.
Teves held many political jobs in the Philippines, and he served for three terms as a congressman from 1987 to 1998, during which he tackled legislation on trade, investment, credit access and the agricultural sector. In 2000, Teves was appointed president and CEO of the Land Bank of the Philippines; he subsequently began making the bank more profitable while confirming that the institution still served its original purpose of addressing the needs of the area’s farmers and fishermen. Teves has also taught economics at two universities in the Philippines.
From 2005 to 2009, Teves served as finance secretary of the Philippines. In 2009, The Banker magazine named him Finance Minister of the Year in Asia.