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President Valerie Smith's Charge to Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson receives honorary degree

Bryan A. Stevenson receives his Doctor of Laws hood from sociologist Nina Johnson.

Bryan Stevenson is an acclaimed public interest lawyer and advocate for justice. He is the founder and executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, where he has dedicated his career to helping under-resourced communities and communities ravaged by incarceration. He and his team have won cases that have resulted in the reversal, relief, or release of over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. His most recent historic ruling determined that mandatory life without parole sentences for all children 17 or younger is unconstitutional. 

Bryan is committed to educating communities about slavery, lynching, and racial segregation. He serves as a Professor at NYU School of Law and led the development of the Legacy Museum: from Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, and National Memorial for Justice and Peace in Montgomery, Alabama, projects designed to raise public awareness of the nation’s racial history.

Bryan Stevenson, upon the recommendation of the faculty, and by the power vested in me by the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have the honor to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws.