Worldwide tennis icon Billie Jean King will be in Evanston tomorrow to deliver the commencement address at Northwestern University’s 159th commencement ceremony, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Ryan Field.

Long a champion of social change and equality, King is widely known for her advocacy for gender equity and gay rights in sports and in public life. She successfully campaigned to equalize tennis prize money and, in 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. 

In addition to King, four other luminaries will be granted honorary degrees by Northwestern. They include:

Donald B. Rubin, a Harvard University professor whose work in causal inference and data essentially defined new fields of statistics.

Leila Sadat, director of the Harris World Law Institute at Washington University School of Law, who is known for her work on the International Criminal Court and her efforts to draft and win adoption of a global treaty on crimes against humanity.

Garry Wills, a prolific public intellectual, Northwestern professor emeritus and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who specializes in American history, politics and religion, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wei Yang, an influential educator, science policymaker, and researcher who is the president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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