Annette Gordon-Reed

Annette Gordon-Reed smiles as she is conferred an honorary degree

From left: Carol Fierke, Annette Gordon-Reed, Chad Williams

Doctor of Humane Letters

Annette Gordon-Reed is an author and scholar whose research is situated at the intersections of history, politics, law, race and culture. The Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, Gordon-Reed has won 16 book prizes over the course of her career, including the National Book Award in 2008 and the Pulitzer Prize for history in 2009 for "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family," which tells the story of four generations of the Hemings family who were enslaved by Thomas Jefferson; Jefferson was also the father of Sally Hemings' children. Gordon-Reed has been recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, and the National Humanities Medal, bestowed upon her by President Barack Obama.

Her latest book is "On Juneteenth," which, through the weaving together of American history, family chronicle and memoir, provides a historian's view of the country's long road to, first, the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, and later, to the establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday.