Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Kenneth  Prewitt 
Doctor of Humane Letters  1993
Status: conferred

Distinguished scholar, author, and advocate of developing nations, Kenneth Prewitt has enlarged our understanding of the democratic system in America and furthered the cause of scientific philanthropy around the world. He was graduated from SMU in 1958 with a degree in history and political science. After receiving a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, he was appointed co-director of Stanford's "Comparative Studies of Legislature Behavior in Small Decision-Making Groups." Later, during 14 years on the faculty of The University of Chicago, he published five books on institutional racism in America, on the function of political elites in democratic societies, and on ways in which people mobilize and exert pressure on elected leaders at the local level. He served with great distinction as president of the Social Science Research Council. More recently, as vice president and now senior vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, he has worked to concentrate that organization's efforts on the areas of international, science-based development. The hand of Kenneth Prewitt, once a teacher and research fellow in Uganda and Kenya, may be seen in the Rockefeller Foundation's promotion of African studies programs at U.S. colleges and universities and in its fellowships for African scholars to study in this country. For his leadership and scholarship advancing knowledge of racial and political forces locally and globally, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Kenneth Prewitt the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.