2012 Honorary Degree Recipient
The Carleton Honorary Degree is the highest honor that the College can bestow. Carleton has always awarded this degree sparingly and selects its honorary degree recipients with great care and with the assent of both the faculty and Board of Trustees, seeking to honor those who have achieved eminence in their own profession or who have rendered distinguished service to society. We are very proud that at this year’s Commencement ceremony Carleton College will confer an honorary doctorate degree upon:
George H. Davis
George H. Davis is Regents Professor (Emeritus) of Structural Geology at the University of Arizona.
Davis majored in geology at The College of Wooster, and received a M.A. in structural geology/tectonics from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in economic geology from the University of Michigan.
His professional career has been, almost exclusively, at The University of Arizona. He began as Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences, rising through the ranks to Full Professor, and then chosen as Regents Professor. He served as Chair of the Department of Geosciences, a department now regarded as one of the top geo-programs in the world. Both in graduate school and as an assistant professor, he was inspired by academic geologists who became college and university leaders, and this has influenced his broadening range of university work.
At the University of Arizona, Davis served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Executive on Loan to the Board of Regents, and Interim Vice President for Business Affairs. He left to become President of The University of Vermont, then returned to The University of Arizona to carry out research and teaching, and then to serve as Executive Vice President and Provost. He stepped down from these administrative posts in 2007.
Davis’s primary scientific interest has been field-oriented structural geology, with applications in regional tectonics and active tectonics. He has published extensively on the Basin and Range and Colorado Plateau tectonic provinces and structures. He has brought his passion for structural geology into the classroom, into the research advising of undergraduate and graduate students, into textbook writing, and into research seminars. His current research is in Greece, where he is a team leader on the Mt. Lykaion (Zeus) Sanctuary and Excavation Site in the Peloponnesus. His role is to interpret the geologic history of the site, including active tectonics, in specific relationship to the archaeology of Lykaion.
Davis is presently serving as chair of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Geosciences Directorate. In 1007 he was recognized as Outstanding Faculty Member by The University of Arizona Mortar Board Senior Honorary Society, and 2002 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award, in recognition of the contributions to teaching and research in Geosciences at the University of Arizona.
His outside interests are broad ranging. He enjoys reading and traveling widely, with particular attention to arts and humanities, and he spends serious time in pursuit of his interests in photography and playing chromatic harmonica.
George H. Davis will be awarded the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa. The title of his address is “Carleton College’s Personal and Professional Impact.”
The honorary degree criteria and process are described here.