College to Award Three Honorary Degrees at 184th Commencement

Jane Rice, LeVar Burton, and Janet Morgan Riggs '77 will receive honorary degrees at this year's Commencement ceremony (Photo courtesy of Southern PA Magazine, Wikimedia Commons, and Mary Frasier/The Gettysburgian).

Jane Rice, LeVar Burton, and Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 will receive honorary degrees at this year’s Commencement ceremony (Photo courtesy of Southern PA Magazine, Wikimedia Commons, and Mary Frasier/The Gettysburgian).

By Phoebe Doscher, News Editor

Gettysburg College will award honorary degrees to three distinguished citizens at the 184th annual Commencement exercises held on May 19: Jane Rice, LeVar Burton, and retiring President Janet Morgan Riggs ‘77.

Rice is the co-founder of the Rice Family Foundation, which awards funds to non-profit organizations in Hanover, PA and surrounding communities. She is married to Mike Rice, former CEO and owner of Utz Quality Foods, Inc.

Burton works as an actor, director, author, and presenter, known for his notable performance as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, his role in the ABC series Roots, and for hosting PBS’s Reading Rainbow. He also delivered the keynote address at the 2016 Dedication Day ceremony in Gettysburg.

Riggs will retire at the end of June after serving as Gettysburg College’s 14th president. She received her bachelor’s degree from the College and worked as a professor, interim provost, provost, executive assistant to the president, and interim president prior to assuming the presidency in 2009.

The ceremony will take place on the Beachem Portico on the northside of Pennsylvania Hall. Also featured will be Commencement speaker Jerry Spinelli ‘63. Spinelli received an honorary degree in 2005 and will thus receive the Gettysburg College Medal.

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Author: Phoebe Doscher

Phoebe Doscher ’22 is the News Editor for The Gettysburgian. She previously served as a staff writer, features section copy editor, and Assistant News Editor. Originally from Sandy Hook, CT, she is an English with a Writing Concentration and Theatre Arts double major. Aside from writing and editing, she studies voice at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music and can often be seen working on and offstage in the theatre department.

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