CANTON - Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who grew up in Saranac Lake, has been scheduled to speak and receive an honorary degree at St. Lawrence University's commencement ceremony on May 20.
The university announced the news in a press release Monday morning.
Trudeau grew up in Saranac Lake and is the great-grandson of the village's founder, tuberculosis scientist and physician Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau. His father and grandfather were also doctors and scientists in Saranac Lake, but Garry chose cartooning instead.
Garry Trudeau speaks in June 2010 at Trudeau Institute, a medical research laboratory in Saranac Lake named for his family. Trudeau spoke in favor of establishing a respite center for war veterans in Saranac Lake; he advocates for soldiers consistently in his comic strip, Doonesbury.
(Enterprise file photo)
He holds bachelor's and Master of Fine Arts degrees in graphic design from Yale University. He launched the Doonesbury comic strip in 1970, and it now appears in nearly 1,500 newspapers in the United States and abroad, distributed by Universal Uclick. In 1975, Trudeau became the first comic-strip artist to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. Since then, he's been a finalist three times, including this year for his strips concerning the war in Iraq.
He has designed a pin for Saranac Lake's annual Winter Carnival every year since 1981.
After guarding his privacy well for many years, he has started making more public appearances within the last couple of years. In Saranac Lake, he spoke in June 2010 in support of the Patriot Hills (now called Homeward Bound) proposal to build a respite and retreat center for recent war veterans, and in July 2011 he and his wife, former television journalist and show host Jane Pauley, were the guests of honor at a gala fundraiser for Adirondack Medical Center, on the occasion of the hospital's centennial.
He and Pauley live in New York City. His stepmother Ursula Trudeau still lives in Saranac Lake.
Also at the St. Lawrence commencement, Martha Swan, founder of the organization John Brown Lives! and a Spanish teacher in Indian Lake, will receive the school's North Country Citation, given annually "to an individual or group from the region who, through professional and volunteer endeavors, has improved the quality of life in the North Country."
The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Creasy Commencement Commons at the campus in Canton.
(Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Trudeau's first Saranac Lake Winter Carnival pin appeared in 1981, not 1982.)