Kennedy Institute of Ethics - Honorary Degree Ceremony (Doctorate of Humane Letters Honoris Causa) for Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Inaugural Lecture by I. John Keown, D.Phil., Ph.D. for the Rose F. Kennedy Chair in Christian Ethics (2003)
Kennedy Institue of Ethics
On April 14, 2003, the KIE Member's Day program focused on an an address by John Keown, D.Phil, Ph.D., the inaugural lecture for his appointment to the Rose F. Kennedy Chair in Christian Ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. Dr. Keown spoke against embryonic experimentation and abortion in a lecture entitled, "'God Cannot Change History but Historians Can': Abortion, Law, History and Ethics." He argued that theologians and historians who have supported these embryonic experimentation and abortion are biased in their examination of the religious or historical context surrounding these issues. In addition to the Keown lecture, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters Honoris Causa by Georgetown University President, John J. DeGioia. The ceremony took place in the University's Intercultural Center's auditorium. The honorary doctorate was awarded in recognition of Eunice Kennedy Shriver's forty-year long effort to improve the lives of persons with mental retardation. She assumed the leadership of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation in 1957 and through that Foundation has pursued two major objectives: "promotion of research on the causes and means for the prevention of mental retardation, and fostering greater public acceptance of and support for those with mental retardation" [quote from the honorary degree citation]. She is also the founder of the Special Olympics program. During her acceptance speech, Mrs. Kennedy Shriver "called for education programs specially designed for the mentally disabled, as well as housing and healthcare programs for their special needs" [quote from Derek Richmond, Staff Writer for The Hoya, April 15, 2003].
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