Roy Rowan, Doctor of Humane Letters Opening Convocation, Hartwick College, August 31, 1995

Below is a letter to Roy Rowan on the presentation of an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the Trustees of Hartwick College, 1995.

Your contributions span decades and continents, history in the making and history in retrospect. You are a journalist: you get your facts right: you are a master craftsman. You are a citizen of the world who helps each of us to also be better citizens – you bring to us issues of significance; you challenge us to see human stories of consequence to humanity. You are described by people around the world as a journalist who makes a difference.

You have lived a life which is evidence of your interest in an ability to understand divergent perspectives. You grew up in New York and Paris. As a teenager you were in the Merchant Marine. You graduated from Dartmouth College and received your MBA from the Amos Tuck School. During World War II you served in the US Army, beginning as a private and finishing as major. You worked for United Nations relief efforts in central China. In your career as a journalist you worked for the best: for Life, Time, and Fortune magazines. You worked with Henry Luce and Richard Stolley. You were bureau chief for Time and Life in Chicago, Bonn, Rome, Saigon, and Shanghai; as Time/LIFE bureau chief in Hong Kong in the early 1970’s you were responsible for all of Asia and Australia. Upon your official retirement you were a writer and editor for Time, Inc., though of course retirement is not a word which actually applies to you.

In your career you covered all the major conflicts from World War II to Vietnam. You invested your life with people and events which, perhaps unknown while occurring, became the big stories of this century. You covered the civil war in China between Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, knowing each personally; you were there during the Communist uprisings in Malaysia and Burma; you covered the fall of Shanghai in 1949, the fall of Seoul in 1950, and the fall of Saigon in 1975; and you have interviewed noteworthy political figures ranging from Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos to Ross Perot. In the 1970s and 1980s you created an enviable body of investigative journalism, tracing organized crime connections into the White House Cabinet; uncovering felonious off-shore deals by one of America’s biggest banks; chronicled your experience in boot camp with the Red Army; ranked America’s top-50 organized crime bosses; published exclusive interviews with the Hunt brothers during the 1980 silver crisis; wrote a Time cover story on the terrorist bombing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerby, Scotland, and you lived on the street for weeks in order to write about the homeless for People. During recent years you have also found the time to author several books including The Intuitive Manager and The Four Days of the Mayaquez; your forthcoming book, Powerful People, will tell the stories of world leaders you have known. Twenty-five years ago you found the fortitude to wrestle cancer to the ground and write about it that others might wage their battles, too.

Your vision is remarkable; the vision that finds the human and the personal in the tumultuous swirl of historic events; the vision that synthesizes observations and paints vivid pictures for others. Yours is the vision which sees all events, wherever they occur around the globe, as part of an intricately linked mosaic. You see each life as part of humanity’s story.

We celebrate your vision and how you have lifted Hartwick’s sights. You have served ably as a Trustee of this College, making contributions in many ways. You helped us conceive and create Curriculum XXI. You lifted our sights to the Pacific Rim, the far side of the world, and helped forge our partnership with Thailand. You have created many linkages for us with leading people, organizations, and foundations around the globe.

In summary, we can do no better than to quote one of your Life colleagues, who, when asked to comment on your achievements, said, “There isn’t enough paper to write it all down.”

And so, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Hartwick College and delegated to them by the State of New York, I am pleased to present you this day with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereunto appertaining.

Conferred by                                                   Presented by

Richard A. Detweiler, Ph.D                            Arthur A. Knaus

President                                                         Senior Vice-President for

Hartwick College                                            Administration (Retired)

August 31, 1995                                              Hartwick College