Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters Saturday by Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.
In honoring Sachs, the school said Sachs has been “widely acknowledged as the world’s leading international economic advisor,” and that he “has been in the forefront of economic development, enlightened globalization, environmental sustainability and public health for more than 20 years.”
Bryant’s curriculum integrates business with the liberal arts and sciences, a cross-disciplinary approach that Sachs spoke about during ceremonies at the school for 864 graduating seniors.
By graduating with an education that has one foot in the business world and another foot in the liberal arts, Bryant students have learned that “business and society walk hand in hand,” and that trust, honesty and responsibility need to be as much a part of business as they are a part of our daily lives, Sachs told the graduates.
Exemplary business leaders don’t lobby at the expense of the rest of society, Sachs said. “They stand up to declare that business is ready to be part of society … and to champion the values of sustainable development.”
Research, academic programs and policy initiatives at the Earth Institute at Columbia University also offer a cross-disciplinary approach to sustainable development, combining work in the natural sciences, engineering, business, public policy and international relations.
In addition to serving as director of the Earth Institute, Sachs is a special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon on the Millennium Development Goals, and is Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Health Policy and Management at Columbia. He is co-founder and chief strategist of the Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011).
(This report includes information from a story about the graduation on the Bryant University website.)