American University of Beirut

Thoms Q. Morris's Acceptance Speech

June 27, 2009 

Mr. Prime Minister, honored guests, my fellow honorary degree recipients: 

Everyone else has an unfair advantage today. As you know, I have the responsibility of speaking at the graduation ceremonies later on today, so I am not prepared for this event today. I am both very honored and surprised. 

My colleagues on the board would tell you I never miss an opportunity to say something. So I'll be very brief. I want to say first of all to the other honorary degree recipients, we are so honored to have you with us today. Your accomplishments make everything I have done pale by comparison, so I treasure your participation today; it makes this University a greater place. And I just want to say that AUB is a great place. It's been great for me; it's been a privilege for me to serve, and a pleasure. Nineteen eighty-two was a pretty energetic time in Beirut when I was here, but it was clear to me that those qualities that Dr. Zerhouni extolled were here: commitment, energy, expertise, dedication. And you can't replace those. The loyalty of the faculty with which I dealt at that time was superb as it is today. The accomplishments which President Dorman described are largely the work of others, including my colleagues and the Board of Trustees. So I accept this honorary degree with great pleasure, but with even greater humility. Thank you very much. 

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