headshot of Kristen Ries, honorary degree recipient

2020 honorary degree recipient recognized

See the prior announcement here.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. Although we are not able to celebrate you in person this evening, that in no way diminishes our admiration for your accomplishments and our hope for a bright future for each one of you.

On the occasion of this annual commencement, the University of Utah confers honorary doctoral degrees on individuals whose service to country, education, professions, business, government, the arts and good causes is of such high order and significance as to warrant this honor, this highest recognition given by the university. On behalf of the university’s Board of Trustees, I am delighted to introduce this year’s recipient, an individual who is truly worthy of this prestigious recognition, Dr. Kristen Ries.

In consideration of her remarkable career as an infectious disease physician and professor emerita of Internal Medicine, and in recognition of her early commitment to providing compassionate healthcare and service for underserved populations, including the Lakota Sioux in Rosebud, South Dakota, and individuals in Utah with HIV/AIDS, treating and caring for them at a time when other doctors declined them as patients. And in tribute to her work to create Utah’s first comprehensive HIV/AIDS program, and that she extended care for HIV/AIDS patients by helping establish a treatment clinic in St. George. And in appreciation for her service as president of the medical staff for the University of Utah Health Clinics, as the clinical director of infectious diseases HIV/AIDS, at U of U Health. And in praise of Newsweek’s magazine naming her one of America’s unsung heroes, the University of Utah, with the approval of its board of trustees, presents Kristen Ries with the honorary degree of Doctor of Science, with all the rights, privileges and honors pertaining thereto.

Congratulations Dr. Ries and congratulations again to the Class of 2020.