World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall to speak at Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Commencement
World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall to speak at Syracuse University and SUNY ESF CommencementFebruary 16, 2005Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a United Nations Messenger of Peace, will deliver the 2005 Commencement address to graduates of Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry during joint exercises Sunday, May 15, in the Carrier Dome.
“I am very pleased that Jane Goodall has agreed to share her perspectives and experiences with us,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Her research is known around the world, and she has led many people to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living things.”
Dr. Goodall is globally recognized for her pioneering research into chimpanzee behavior, which has transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. In 1960, Dr. Goodall began a venture into the Gombe Stream region of East Africa to study chimpanzees-a highly unorthodox activity for a woman at that time. In her first year, she observed the chimps’ ability to make and use tools-forcing science to rethink the definition that separated man from other animals: “man the toolmaker.” Through continued research and interaction, Dr. Goodall discovered that chimps had distinct personalities, minds, emotions and family bonds. Her research continues today through the Gombe Stream Research Center, which-under the stewardship of Tanzanian field staff and other researchers-is one of the longest uninterrupted wildlife studies in existence.
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research into chimpanzee behavior-research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa as well as the Roots & Shoots education program, which has groups in more than 87 countries. JGI’s newest programs in Africa are linked not only geographically through the Congo Basin watershed, but also thematically by addressing the root social and economic factors that shape human relationships with the environment. Dr. Goodall travels the world over 300 days a year, urging her listeners to participate in her cause.
Dr. Goodall’s scores of honors include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal, Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Dr. Goodall to serve as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace.” In 2004, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles invested Dr. Goodall a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood.
Her list of publications is extensive, including two overviews of her work at Gombe-“In the Shadow of Man” (Mariner Books, revised 2000) and “Through a Window” (Mariner Books, 2000)-as well as two autobiographies in letters, the best-selling autobiography “Reason for Hope” (Warner Books, 2000) and many children’s books. “The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior,” (Harvard University Press, 1986) is recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees and is the culmination of Dr. Goodall’s scientific career.
Dr. Goodall was chosen as this year’s Commencement speaker through a selection process designed to give students and others in the University community the opportunity to assist in the decision-making. A student committee composed of the senior class marshals, the student marshals from each of the University’s schools and colleges and the three student representatives to the University’s Board of Trustees coordinated the process. Suggestions were collected through a Web site and offered directly to the committee. The committee reviewed all potential speakers and made specific suggestions to Cantor, whose office conveyed the invitation to Dr. Goodall.