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Software engineer, photographer to receive 2016 KU honorary degrees

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

LAWRENCE — The visionary co-creator of Google Earth and an iconic visual artist of the Great Plains will receive honorary degrees from the University of Kansas at its 2016 Commencement.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little recommended to the Kansas Board of Regents that software developer Brian McClendon and photographer Terry Evans be awarded honorary doctorates. The board approved her recommendation during its meeting today, Oct. 14.

The degrees will be awarded at KU’s 144th Commencement on May 15, 2016, in Memorial Stadium.

“Both of these honorees have made lasting contributions to help make our world a better place,” Gray-Little said. “Their work has led to a new age of digital mapmaking and a deeper understanding of the way the Midwest has shaped its inhabitants, and they serve as inspirations for the entire KU community.”

2016 University of Kansas honorary degree recipients:

  • For the degree of Doctor of Science: Brian McClendon, for outstanding contributions to the fields of electrical engineering and computer science.
  • For the degree of Doctor of Arts: Terry Evans, for outstanding contributions to the fields of photography and visual arts.

More information is available here.

Nominations are sought from inside and outside the KU community. These nominations were reviewed by a committee chaired by Edmund Russell, history, and consisting of Judy Wu, physics and astronomy; Joe Lutkenhaus, microbiology, molecular genetics and immunology; Mabel Rice, speech-language-hearing; Debra Sullivan, dietetics and nutrition; Debbie Nordling, representing KU alumni, and Lucas Chaffee, student.

KU awards honorary degrees based on nominees’ outstanding scholarship, research, creative activity, service to humanity or other achievements consistent with the academic endeavors of the university. Recipients do not need to be KU alumni, and philanthropic contributions to the university are not considered during the process.