The Jeuns

Paleontologist and Molecular Biologist to Receive Recognition at Beacon College

May 10, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Beacon College is set to confer honorary doctorates on two prominent advocates for learning disabilities, Dr. Richard O. Williams and John “Jack” R. Horner, during its upcoming commencement ceremony on May 11th at the Brownwood Hotel & Spa.

President George J. Hagerty expressed the college’s privilege in recognizing the significant impact made by Dr. Williams and Mr. Horner, stating that their work advocating for individuals with learning differences has been truly transformative and extraordinary.

The honorary degrees are awarded by the college’s Board of Trustees and will be presented by the college president during the commencement ceremony at the Brownwood Hotel & Spa in The Villages. This year, Beacon College will be awarding a total of 118 degrees, including 94 bachelor’s degrees and 24 associate’s degrees.

John “Jack” R. Horner, a world-renowned paleontologist, gained recognition for his groundbreaking research on dinosaur growth and served as a technical adviser for the “Jurassic Park” film series. Despite facing academic challenges due to dyslexia, Horner’s unique perspective and passion for paleontology led to numerous successful research projects and discoveries, including the first dinosaur eggs found in the Western Hemisphere.

Dr. Richard O. Williams, a molecular biologist and entrepreneur, dedicated his efforts to autism research after his daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. His involvement with Beacon College as a board member and chairman contributed to the college’s accreditation and expansion of degree offerings for students with learning disabilities and ADHD.

Both honorees have made significant contributions to the field of learning disabilities advocacy and have had a lasting impact on the lives of individuals with learning differences. Their recognition with honorary doctorates highlights their exceptional work and dedication to improving the experiences of those with learning disabilities.


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