Honorary Degree Recipients 2024

Paul Alivisatos

President, University of Chicago

A celebrated chemist and accomplished administrator, Paul Alivisatos became the 14th president of the University of Chicago on September 1, 2021.

As President of the University, Alivisatos serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of Argonne National Laboratory and Chair of the Board of Directors of Fermi Research Alliance LLC, the operator of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He is also the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the College.

Alivisatos previously served as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) of the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his role as EVCP, Alivisatos was the Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, founding Director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute, and from 2009-2016 served as Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

A preeminent scientist and entrepreneur, Alivisatos has made pioneering research breakthroughs in nanomaterials. Contributions to the fundamental physical chemistry of nanocrystals are the hallmarks of his scientific career. His research accomplishments include studies of the scaling laws governing the optical, electrical, structural, and thermodynamic properties of nanocrystals. His inventions are widely used in biomedicine and QLED TV displays, and his scientific advances have yielded more than 50 patents.

Alivisatos received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1981 from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Berkeley in 1986. He is a founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys and Quantum Dot Corp, now a part of Thermo Fisher. He has been recognized for his accomplishments with more than 25 awards including the National Medal of Science, the E.O. Lawrence Award, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Dan David Prize, the Von Hippel Award, the Linus Pauling Medal, the Eni Award for Energy and Environment, the Wilhelm Exner Medal, the 2021 Priestley Medal, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences, and the National Academy of Science Award in Chemical Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Veronica Antetokounmpo

Director, The Charles Antetokounmpo Family Foundation

Veronica Antetokounmpo, born on April 7, 1964, in Nigeria, is not just the mother of the famed Antetokounmpo brothers—Francis, Thanasis, Giannis, Kostas, and Alex—but also a figure of resilience and strength. Before her family became famous in the basketball world, Veronica was an accomplished high jumper, showcasing her athletic skills in Nigeria. Veronica’s mother comes from the Igbo tribe, a community known for its rich cultural heritage and a strong sense of identity. In 1991, seeking a better future for her family, Veronica and her husband Charles decided to migrate to Greece. This marked the beginning of a challenging chapter as she and Charles navigated life as undocumented immigrants, facing the looming threats of deportation and racial discrimination.

Life in Greece was hard. Veronica and Charles made ends meet by selling handbags and sunglasses on the streets. Despite these challenges, they worked tirelessly to provide for their family. Things started to look up when their sons Thanasis and Giannis began to make a name for themselves playing basketball. In 2013, Giannis Antetokounmpo became a first-round draft pick for the NBA in the United States. He made his NBA debut, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, at the age of 18.

In 2014, the whole family moved to Milwaukee, splitting their time between the United States and Greece. Thanasis, Kostas, and Alex have also led distinguished basketball careers, making the Antetokounmpo one of the most recognized basketball families in the world.

After Charles passed away in September 2017, Veronica and her sons started The Charles Antetokounmpo Family Foundation (CAFF) to support various charities in Nigeria, Greece, and the US. In addition to her charitable work, Veronica has also tried her hand at music, releasing a single called “Count Your Blessings” in 2024.

Through all the ups and downs, Veronica has been a pillar of strength for her family, guiding them through tough times and enjoying their successes.

Andrew Liveris

Former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer,
Dow Chemical Company

Andrew N. Liveris AO is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company and the former Executive Chairman of DowDuPont. As the company’s longest-serving non-family CEO, and with a combined 42 years of experience at Dow, Andrew had assignments in manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management before becoming CEO and Chairman.

In April 2022, Andrew was named President of the Board of the Brisbane Organising Committee for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games (OCOG). He currently serves as Chairman of The Hellenic Initiative. He is a Director of Lucid Motors, IBM, Saudi Aramco, Worley (Deputy Chairman), Novonix and the Minderoo Foundation.

Andrew sits on the Advisory Board of Salesforce, the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Teneo and NEOM (an initiative driven by Saudi Vision 2030). He is a Special Advisor to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Andrew serves as a trustee for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and the United States Council for International Business.

He has advised three U.S. presidents and served as co-chair of US President Barack Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, adviser to President Trump and now President Biden. He is Co-Chair of the Build Together Coalition that successfully advocated for the USD1.2T Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden in 2020. Andrew was also appointed as a Special Advisor to the Australian Government’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.

In his book published in 2011, Make it in America, Andrew advocates for the criticality of manufacturing in building valuable skills and delivering solutions for this century, an era of sustainability, digitalisation, and geopolitical dynamism. In 2018 Andrew established the Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership at the University of Queensland. His second book Leading Through Disruption in which Andrew provides a new leadership paradigm for resilience and agility in a rapidly changing world, was published in 2023.