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2011 Honorary Degree Recipient

Robert E. Bonner, Ph.D.

Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)


A native son with an abiding passion for Wyoming, its land, and its people, Robert E. Bonner has distinguished himself as a scholar and educator and has earned recognition as one of the nation's finest historians of the American West.

Raised in Powell, Bonner found his passion for history as a student at the University of Wyoming, completing his bachelor's degree in History and American Studies in 1961.  His graduate work at Oregon and Minnesota led him to a celebrated 34-career at Carlton College (Minnesota) as a respected administrator and esteemed teacher of English and European history.  But on a summer morning in 1990, he asked himself what it was about history that he "loved with passion," and the answer was "the land of the upper Yellowstone River Basin."  And with that he embarked on a rare circular journey that would lead him back to Wyoming and even greater recognition as scholar of western and environmental history and the life of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.  However, for all of his contributions to higher education and for all of his acclaimed scholarship, Bonner's most profound role is that of humanitarian.  A devoted and courageous father, Bonner, along with his wife Barbara, has dedicated his energy, time, and resources to his passionate advocacy for people with developmental disabilities.

For all of your contributions, Robert E. Bonner, the University of Wyoming is honored to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

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