Rollins

Smaw Receives Honorary Degree for Impactful Work in Humanities

June 28, 2023

Philosophy professor Eric Smaw has been selected to receive an honorary doctorate from Hellenic American University.

Eric Smaw
Photo by Scott Cook.

Each year, Hellenic American University (HAU) in Nashua, New Hampshire, confers an honorary doctorate to an individual whose work and public service have had a substantial, positive impact on society. Philosophy professor Eric Smaw receives this year’s honorary degree for his meaningful work as a humanities faculty supporting academics and research and for his exceptional efforts in the area of student engagement.

Smaw’s expertise includes philosophy of law, international law, human rights, ethics, and social and political philosophy, and he has been crucial to the development of critical-race-theory courses at Rollins. Smaw also serves as co-director of the College’s pre-law program and is the long-standing faculty advisor for the award-winning Rollins debate team. 

During his tenure at Rollins, Smaw has developed an international dialogue and cultural exchange between colleges and universities everywhere from Cambridge University in England to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, with the goal of instilling in the next generation a greater commitment to the peace, security, and health of our world. In November, students from the Hellenic American University debate team will participate in this year’s Great Debate at Rollins, where they’ll also act as Greek cultural ambassadors and engage in community outreach events.

For over a decade, Smaw has been actively involved in the larger Central Florida community, particularly through his work with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he’s now serving as president of the board. His work focuses on reproductive, immigrant, and voting rights along with issues of police brutality, discrimination, and state censorship.

Smaw will receive his honorary degree on June 29 at HAU’s commencement ceremony, where he’ll give an address. Watch the livestream of the event.


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