Science foundation leader, naval officer to receive honorary degrees

William Harris and Robin Braun
William C. Harris


Robin R. Braun


A scientist and leader who furthers research and development in the public sector and an aviator who has soared to new heights in the U.S. Navy will be honored during Northern Arizona University’s fall commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 14, in the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff.

William C. Harris, president and chief executive officer of Science Foundation Arizona, will be presented with an honorary doctoral degree during the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony. Harris has participated in the president’s speaker series at NAU and serves on the Four Corners Sustainable Futures Initiative Steering Committee that works with tribal governments and communities to create sustainable economic development activities in the region.

Harris has devoted his career to working with agencies in Arizona and around the world to develop research and educational enterprises that benefit the public. He recently co-authored a book titled Adrift: Charting Our Course Back to a Great Nation, which discusses education, innovation and revitalizing the American economy.

Harris earned an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina.

U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Robin R. Braun will receive an honorary doctoral degree during the 3 p.m. commencement ceremony. Braun, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from NAU, is charting her own course to the highest ranks in the U.S. Navy.

Braun recently was promoted to her current post as vice admiral and solidified a place in history when she became the first female leader of the Navy Reserve. She is one of five female Naval aviators to ascend to the flag officer ranks and is an accomplished pilot who has served in numerous missions around the world.

Braun has earned many awards including four Meritorious Service Medals, two Naval and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

For information on commencement ceremonies, visit this link.