Diana Eck, a Bozeman native who is an international expert of religious diversity based at Harvard University, will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Montana State University during the university's spring commencement, university officials announced today.
MSU's spring commencement ceremonies are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Eck will receive the honorary doctorate during the afternoon ceremony.
"We are delighted to honor Dr. Eck with the highest commendation MSU confers," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. "She is a remarkable individual and scholar and very deserving of this recognition."
Eck is a prominent scholar of religious diversity and professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard University.
Since 1991 she also has headed the Pluralism Project, a research team at Harvard exploring the religious diversity of the United States. The project has documented the growing presence of the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Zoroastrian communities in the U.S.
She is the author of "Banaras, City of Light," "Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India," "Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras," and "A New Religious America: How a Christian Country Became the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation," and other books.
Among numerous other awards, Eck received the National Humanities Award from former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1998 and the Montana Governor's Humanities Award in 2003.
Eck received a bachelor's degree in religious studies from Smith College in 1967 and a master's degree in South Asian history from the University of London in 1968. In 1976, she earned a doctorate from Harvard in the comparative study of religion.
Eck's mother, Dorothy Eck, was a longtime state representative and received an honorary degree from MSU in 2003. Her father, the late Hugo G. Eck, was an MSU professor of architecture.
For more information about MSU's spring commencement, see http://www.montana.edu/commencement.
Contact: Tom Calcagni, (406) 994-4571 or firstname.lastname@example.org