Knox College Announces 2013 Honorary Degrees

Actor and comedian Ed Helms; Lawrence Breitborde, dean of Knox College; Lisa Madigan, attorney general of Illinois

February 25, 2013

Knox College announced today the recipients of honorary degrees to be awarded at the 2013 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, June 8. They are actor and comedian Ed Helms, who will deliver the Commencement Address; Knox College Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lawrence Breitborde; and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

About the 2013 Honorary Degree Recipients

Ed HelmsEd Helms
Ed Helms is best known for scene-stealing roles on both the big and small screen, including his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his character Andy Bernard in the U.S. version of the hit television sitcom The Office, and his role as Dr. Stu Price in The Hangover films. He is a 1996 graduate of Oberlin College. Helms began his career in New York City as a writer and performer in sketch comedy bands and studied improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe. He joined the cast of The Daily Show in 2002. After leaving the show in 2006, he joined the cast of the NBC "mockumentary" The Office and has been a series regular ever since. Helms has appeared in more than a dozen films, including starring roles in 2012's Jeff, Who Lives at Home and 2011's Cedar Rapids and a co-starring role in the blockbuster hit The Hangover, its sequel, and the upcoming third installment of the film, to be released in May. The first Hangover film won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Helms currently resides in Los Angeles and is known to play a mean banjo.

Lawrence BreitbordeLawrence B. Breitborde
Since 1995, Lawrence Breitborde has been the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1973 and 1978, respectively. Breitborde's teaching interests include language and culture, Sub-Saharan Africa, linguistics, and First-Year Preceptorial. He has numerous publications and presentations to his credit, including Speaking and Social Identity: English in the Lives of Urban Africans (1998); has served as co-editor of several anthologies; and has published a number of articles in scholarly journals. His research in West Africa has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright-Hays program. As Knox's longest serving academic dean, he has appointed two-thirds of the current Knox faculty, provided leadership in developing the current curriculum, created special learning opportunities for students, and helped establish Knox's Stellyes Center for Global Studies and the Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Studies. He has also served as the campus Fulbright advisor, helping 24 students receive Fulbrights since 1999 and leading to Knox's recognition as one of the nation's leading producers of Fulbright awardees. Breitborde is retiring as dean in June 2013 but will return to the Department of Anthropology and Sociology as a teacher and scholar in academic year 2013-14 after a sabbatical.

Lisa Madigan

Lisa Madigan
Lisa Madigan has been the 41st Attorney General of Illinois since 2003, when she became the state's first female attorney general. Madigan attended The Latin School of Chicago for her secondary education and received her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1988. She received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a teacher and community organizer, developing after-school programs to help keep kids involved in education and away from drugs and gangs. Madigan also volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa during the Apartheid years. She gave Knox College's Opening Convocation address in 2007.