April 20, 2011
Christian Basi, BasiC@missouri.edu, 573-882-4430
By Brad Fischer
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Since graduating from the University of Missouri in 1984, Sheryl Crow has achieved musical success and became a major philanthropist through her fame. For her achievements, University of Missouri officials honored Crow with an honorary degree, one of the highest honors the university bestows.
“Ms. Crow is a celebrated musician, breast cancer survivor and a champion of children and music education,” said Michael O’Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science. “Ms. Crow is an outstanding role model for current MU students and future graduates, especially women.”
A native of Kennett, Mo., Crow graduated from MU with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1984. She settled in Fenton, where she taught music in the elementary school. She left Missouri for Los Angeles in 1986 to pursue a career in music. Crow went on to win nine Grammy Awards and obtain international recognition.
With her fame, Crow has worked to help others in her home state and around the world. As a breast cancer survivor, Crow has worked to raise funds to find a cure. Last year, she opened The Sheryl Crow Imaging Center in Los Angeles, which features digital screening and imaging equipment for breast cancer patients. In addition, she has served as an advocate for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, United Nations World Food Programme and anti-global warming programs. Crow also is a vocal supporter of music education programs; she performed in a concert benefitting the VH1 Save the Music campaign to promote music education in schools.
Crow also has made a special effort to help entities in her home state and hometown. For years, Crow has raised funds through her website for the Delta Children’s Home, a center for needy children based in Kennett. She has hosted benefit concerts, built a local recreational swimming pool, and donated money and clothing to locals in need. She also headlined a concert benefiting Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis.
“She not only says she supports her community, she lives up to it by her investment and commitment,” former Missouri Governor Bob Holden said. “She has not forgotten from where she came and those who helped her achieve fame.”
Honorary degrees are awarded to graduates or former students who have achieved distinction. Degrees are also awarded to people who have rendered distinctive service to the state or the university, as well as people of high distinction from around the world.