Honorary Degree Presentations to Katherine Paterson and Grace Potter

Grace Potter and Katherine Paterson - Honorary Degree Recipients

Citation Honoring Katherine Paterson

Read by Professor Jim Ellefson, Division of Communication and Creative Media: 

Katherine Paterson, for decades, you have built bridges connecting young readers to both literature and libraries. Your imagination has allowed readers to explore fantastic new places and discover the power of unexpected friendships. Your honesty has born witness to the challenges associated with "growing up," while your compassionate narratives validate the feelings and emotions of young adults in Vermont and beyond.

You have enabled your readers to understand the importance of being open to those set apart or outcast from society and our responsibility to provide them with hope for a better life. You have been honored with the top awards in literature, including the Newbery Medal, National Book Award, Hans Christian Anderson Award, and named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. We celebrate your powerful body of work, your lifelong commitment to education and your storytelling skills.

Read by President Donald J. Laackman:  

Katherine Paterson, by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of Champlain College, I am pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, on this 14th day of May, two thousand and sixteen. Congratulations!


Read by Professor Thane Butt, Robert P. Stiller School of Business:

Grace Potter, you have made a lasting impact on your community by following your dreams and bringing your artistic expression to life. Your music reflects your unique life experiences while simultaneously conveying universal truths and shared experiences. You have embraced your entrepreneurial spirit and charted your own course, reinforcing the importance of individualism and inspiring others to live their own dreams.

We honor you for your compassion and commitment to community service. Your willingness to help others, both as an artist and a Vermonter, speaks to your desire to help those in need - whether through a concert to support a flood-devastated community or headlining an event to ease our veterans' return from war.

Read by President Donald J. Laackman:
Grace Potter, by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of Champlain College, I am pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, on this 14th day of May, two thousand and sixteen. Congratulations!

Honorary degree recipients and President Laackman and Allyson Laackman

President Donald J. Laackman and Allyson Laackman with Honorary Degree recipients Katherine Paterson and Grace Potter. 


Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 382 Colleges: 2018 Edition. For the third year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2018 "America's Best Colleges," and an "A+ School for B Students" and is ranked in the top 100 Regional Universities of the North. Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2018 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2018 College of Distinction. For more information, visit  www.champlain.edu.