Bill Strickland, John Edgar Wideman to Receive Duquesne Honorary Degrees

Two Pittsburgh natives-one a respected, innovative community leader in the arts, and the other a renowned American writer whose works are often set in his hometown-will be awarded honorary degrees during the spring Commencement ceremony at Duquesne University.

Bill Strickland, president and chief executive officer of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and author John Edgar Wideman will each be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Duquesne's Commencement on Friday, May 12, at 2 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Strickland will deliver the Commencement address during the ceremony. Wideman will deliver remarks during the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts diploma ceremony that evening at 6 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Strickland leads the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG) and the Bidwell Training Center (both Manchester Bidwell Corporation subsidiaries) as well as the National Center for Arts and Technology in Pittsburgh. Highly acclaimed in Pittsburgh and beyond, Strickland is known for his passion for fostering entrepreneurship, building partnerships and using the power of the arts to inspire others.

Wideman is an award-winning author of numerous books, including Sent for You Yesterday and Philadelphia Fire. Both books earned him the International PEN/Faulkner Award, marking the first time an author received this award twice. Following the publication of his Pittsburgh-based Homewood trilogy (comprised of Damballah, Hiding Place and Sent for You Yesterday), Wideman was proclaimed as "one of America's premier writers of fiction" by The New York Times. He currently is a professor emeritus at Brown University.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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