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University To Award Honorary Degrees To Author George R.R. Martin And Chemist Peter Stang

Texas A&M University will award Honorary Doctorates to “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin and world-renowned chemist Dr. Peter J. Stang.
By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Texas A&M Marketing & Communications February 12, 2016

Texas A&M University will award Honorary Doctorates to “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin and world-renowned chemist Dr. Peter J. Stang.

Martin, author of the bestselling book series A Song of Ice and Fire, the basis for the hit HBO television show “Game of Thrones,” has been affiliated with Texas A&M since the 1970s when he began attending AggieCon science fiction conventions.

The affiliation grew in the 1990s when he chose Cushing Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection to deposit his personal collection of letters, books and manuscripts. He has referred to Cushing’s sci-fi and fantasy collection as one of the best three in the country and among the Top 10 worldwide.

Last year, Martin visited campus to donate a rare first-edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit* to the Cushing collection. Symbolically, this volume represented the five millionth volume to be added to the Texas A&M Libraries collection. Texas A&M Libraries is now ranked in the top 10 of public research libraries in North America.

“Mr. George R.R. Martin’s cultural impact on modern American literacy and broadcast media culture is difficult to measure,” wrote University Libraries Dean David Carlson in his nomination. “Mr. Martin’s literary corpus, his extensive honors and awards, his engagement with Texas A&M University and his gifts of imagination, creativity and fantasy will reflect well on Texas A&M’s commitment as a comprehensive institution seeking excellence in all areas of science, engineering and the arts.”

Among his many honors, Martin has been awarded four Hugo Awards in science fiction, a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement and was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Stang, a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Utah, is considered an international leader in the fields of physical, organic, inorganic and petroleum chemistry. While much of his work has been fundamental in nature, his contributions have led to significant development of materials for advanced medicine, energy applications and other such benefits to society.

Stang is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a recipient of the National Medal of Science, and was awarded one of the field’s highest honors, the American Chemical Society’s Priestley Medal.

He has interacted with the faculty of Texas A&M in numerous national and international committees and organizations, say his nominators. He has served as an inaugural Fellow of the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study, where he has interacted with faculty on research and mentored junior faculty and graduate students.

In nominating Stang, Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Karen Wooley wrote, “Professor Stang is an internationally-eminent scholar who has achieved exceptional accomplishment and distinction in scholarship and service to chemistry, specifically, and the sciences in general.”

Martin and Stang’s honorary degrees will be presented at a future Texas A&M commencement ceremony or other befitting ceremony.

Martin publically addressed the honor on his blog this week, writing, “I am very pleased. Thanks to all my friends at A&M.” He added he won’t be picking up the degree until The Winds of Winter, the highly anticipated sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, is complete.

“We understand Mr. Martin is particularly sensitive to his time commitments and writing efforts,” Carlson notes. “We will be happy to host his return to campus when his schedule allows.”


* This link is no longer active and has been removed.

Media contact: Lesley Henton,

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