Pioneering activist, politician, diplomat Andrew Young to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UC

Andrew J. Young, a visionary politician who fought segregation alongside Martin Luther King Jr., will be given an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service by the University of Cincinnati at the Fall Commencement ceremony Dec. 13.

An honorary doctorate is UC's most prestigious award. The special recognition will be bestowed upon Young and two other honored recipients during Commencement events held from Dec. 12-13 in Fifth Third Arena. Young also will deliver the commencement address during Undergraduate Commencement (for bachelor and associate degrees), beginning at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 13. The Doctoral Hooding and Master’s Recognition Ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 12.

Young is chairman of The Andrew J. Young Foundation, founded in 2003 to further his vision of inspiring leaders worldwide to work toward peace, prosperity and inclusion.

Young’s humanitarian efforts and influence have spanned the globe. From his beginnings as an ordained minister and top aide to Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement to his service as U.S. congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, mayor of Atlanta and founding principal and chair of GoodWorks International, Young has dedicated himself to improving the lives of all people, particularly those in Africa and the diaspora.

His “good works” have taken him to more than 150 countries, including 48 of 53 countries in Africa. Through his leadership, countries throughout the world have created a successful model that combines religion, education, democracy and free enterprise in ways that support the public good.

Young has received honorary degrees from more than 60 institutions, including his alma mater, Howard University; Swarthmore College; Duke University; Emory University; Clark Atlanta University; the University of Georgia; and Morehouse College, which named its Center for International Affairs in his honor. He also has received honorary degrees from international educational institutions including the University of Pretoria South Africa and the University of Maiduguri Nigeria. Georgia State University’s School of Policy Studies, which carries his name, is considered one of the best policy schools in the United States.

Young served in the U.S. Congress and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter Administration. In 1996, he was awarded the Olympic Order, the highest award of the Olympic Movement, for his work as international vice president for law engineering and chair of the Centennial Olympic Games hosted in Atlanta.  

Young serves or has served on numerous corporate boards of directors and advisory boards including the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund, the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Diversapack, Barrick Gold, United Nations, AMC and the Atlanta Falcons.

While mayor of the City of Atlanta for two terms, Young helped attract 1,100 new businesses and $70 billion in private investments, and created 1 million new jobs. His leadership helped the city earn the international reputation it holds today. Young is the author of two books, "A Way Out of No Way" and "An Easy Burden," and co-author of, "Walk in My Shoes." In 2011, Young received an Emmy Award for lifetime achievement for his work in television during the Civil Rights Movement. Young continues to call Atlanta home where he lives with his wife, Carolyn McClain Young. He is the father of three daughters and one son and the grandfather of eight.

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