Dr. Fauci named Emory Commencement speaker, honored with President's Medal

FILE - Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and head of the US pandemic response.

Dr. Anthony Fauci will give the virtual commencement address for the 2021 graduates of Emory University's College of Arts and Sciences.

In a release, the school said that Fauci was the perfect candidate to inspire the Class of 2021, whose experience at the university was shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During the past year, Dr. Fauci’s name has become synonymous with truth, clarity and medical expertise," said Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. "As chief physician to our country in the midst of a pandemic, he has become one of the most trusted voices in medicine for millions of Americans, and we are excited to honor him as part of Emory’s 176th Commencement."  

The university also cited Fauci's work with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institute of Health and his efforts to save lives affected by AIDS and HIV in the developing world.

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The doctor had previously received an honorary degree of science from Emory. During the commencement, he will receive Emory University's President's Medal.

According to the university, Fauci would be the sixth person to receive both honors. The others who have received the medal and an honorary degree include the Dalai Lama, former President Jimmy Carter, the late Congressman John Lewis, former Ambassador Andrew Young, and epidemiologist Dr. William H. Foege.

"Emory’s motto, ‘the wise heart seeks knowledge,’ is exemplified by Dr. Fauci’s many decades of public service," Fenves says. "Indeed, it is his wise heart, and the knowledge he has provided, that have helped us get through a year like no other."

Fauci's address will be delivered live from Washington, D.C. during the ceremony on May 16.

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