ROGER W. FERGUSON, JR., as a celebrated American economist and successful business executive, you not only shaped our nation’s monetary policy, but opened pathways to prosperity for your companies, for your colleagues, and for our country.
Born in our nation’s capital in 1951, your mother’s love of learning and your father’s facility for finance manifested powerfully in you. After earning your BA, JD and PhD in economics from Harvard, you applied your family’s philosophy that “no job is too small to do well” to every position you held, seeing each step of your career as an investment in your own human capital.
The appointment of Andrew Brimmer as the first Black governor of the Federal Reserve in 1966 inspired you rise to the position yourself and, in 1999, you became the first African American to be appointed vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board.
On September 11, 2001, you led the Fed’s initial response to the terrorist attacks, keeping the U.S. financial system functioning and the economy from the brink of collapse. Your swift action under immense pressure ensured that the financial toll of 9/11 didn’t match the human one.
As President and CEO of TIAA, you skillfully led the company through the global financial crises of 2008 and 2011 and the pandemic-induced recession of 2020. And your dedicated service on non-profit boards and government and academic commissions throughout your career has improved economic outcomes, strengthened governance, and improved lives.
For your outstanding contributions to U.S. economic policy, for your calm, decisive leadership during times of national crisis, and for your commitment to – and mentorship of – the constituents you serve, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.