Suskind, Agre named Penn State honorary degree recipients

September 11, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Ron Suskind and Nobel Laureate and chemist Peter Agre were approved Friday (Sept. 11) by Penn State's Board of Trustees to receive honorary degrees from the University.

They join documentary filmmaker Ken Burns as the most recently named Penn State honorary degree recipients. Burns' degree was approved by Board of Trustees at its March 20 meeting ( Each of the recipients' degrees will be conferred during a future commencement to be determined.

Suskind, the Wall Street Journal's senior national affairs writer until 2000, received a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1995 for a series in The Wall Street Journal focusing on public high school students from Washington, D.C. The series became the basis of his first book, "A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League."

Suskind has authored four books, including The New York Times nonfiction bestsellers "The Way of the World," "The One Percent Doctrine" and "The Price of Loyalty, George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill." The nonprofit organization Investigative Reporters and Editors named "The Price of Loyalty" the Best Book of 2004.

Suskind continues to write for Time Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire and The Wall Street Journal. He is an alumnus of the University of Virginia and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and serves as a summer distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth College.

Peter Agre, a hematologist and red-blood-cell membrane biochemist, is the director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute. In February 2009 he began serving as the 163rd president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest scientific organization in the United States.

Agre shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roderick MacKinnon. Agre was recognized for his discovery of aquaporins, cell membrane proteins that form pores in the membrane and allow the transport of water molecules through the membrane, a function essential to all living organisms. In 2004 he began focusing his research on malaria, an infectious disease cased by a parasite that spends much of its life cycle in an infected human's red blood cells.

Agre received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed post-graduate medical training and a fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and also is a professor of cell biology and medicine at Duke University, where he maintains a laboratory and is a senior adviser to the chancellor for health affairs.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 11, 2009