Richard H. Brodhead was the president of Duke University from 2004 to 2017 and served as the William Preston Few Professor of English. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He previously served as the dean of Yale College from 1993 to 2004 and as the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English at Yale University. He is the recipient of several awards, including four honorary degrees. Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, he cochaired its national Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. A scholar of nineteenth-century American literature, Brodhead is the author of several books, including
Baccalaureate: I Learn by Going Where I Have to Go
In his 2015 Baccalaureate address, Brodhead notes that Duke students represent Homo occupans, the ever-busy, ever-occupied human. He reflects on the value of a liberal arts education and urges the graduating students to go on the journey to learn what they could give to the world and how they can deliver it.