Media Executive Sara M. Lomax, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Receive Honorary Degrees at Arcadia University Commencements

By Emily Horowitz | March 22, 2023

Media pioneer Nancy Glass to address graduate class at Thursday Ceremony; Lomax to address undergraduate class at Friday Ceremony

deGrasse Tyson photo by Roderick Mickens

Arcadia University is proud to announce that it will award honorary doctoral degrees to renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and journalist and media executive Sara M. Lomax at its May Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 18, and Friday, May 19, respectively. Nancy Glass, CEO and executive producer for Glass Entertainment Group, will address master’s and doctoral candidates at Thursday’s graduate ceremony, and Lomax will address baccalaureate degree candidates of the Class of 2023 at Friday’s undergraduate ceremony. 

“Each year, Arcadia University selects honorary degree recipients whose intellectual curiosity, determination, and humility inspire the year’s graduating class,” said Dr. Ajay Nair, president of Arcadia University. “We are proud to bestow such an honor this year on Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sara M. Lomax, two highly accomplished individuals who have, throughout their professional careers, sought to advance their fields while positively impacting the world. We also know that our graduates will benefit greatly from hearing from our Commencement speakers, Nancy Glass and Sara M. Lomax.” 

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson: Graduate Ceremony Honorary Degree Recipient, Thursday, May 18

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of America’s best-known and most well-recognized scientists. He is the fifth head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium in New York and a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History

Dr. Tyson is the author of more than a dozen books, including the international bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry in 2017, and the New York Times bestsellers Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military (coauthored with Avis Lang) and Letters from an Astrophysicist. Dr. Tyson hosted the PBS NOVA mini-series Origins and the NOVA spinoff program NOVA ScienceNOW; he also hosts StarTalk, a popular podcast that was nominated for Best Informational Programming Emmy for four straight seasons. He also served as an executive science editor and host for Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey in 2014 and reprised his role as host for Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which premiered on the National Geographic Channel in 2020. 

Dr. Tyson earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University, a master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia University. He is a recipient of more than 20 honorary doctorate degrees and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. The International Astronomical Union honored him with the naming of asteroid “13123 Tyson,” and zoologists did such with the naming of Indirani Tysoni, a native species of leaping frog in India. 

Nancy Glass: Graduate Ceremony Commencement Speaker, Thursday, May 18

A six-time Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, and journalist, Glass is CEO and executive producer for Glass Entertainment Group, an award-winning media company that has produced more than 3,000 hours of cable television shows, documentaries, and podcasts. GEG produces for Netflix, Hulu, Paramount Plus, History, A&E, TLC, HGTV, MTV, and more; they also own the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” For the past five years, GEG has been listed as one of the top 100 production companies in the world by RealScreen magazine, and Glass is included on the 2022 Variety list of Titans of Unscripted Television. Previously, Glass spent 20 years as an anchor, host, and reporter for several national television shows. Locally, she was the host of Evening Magazine on KYW. 

Glass has earned several distinctions as an industry pioneer, including being the first woman to be the solo host of a nationally syndicated news show, the first person in syndication to be nominated for a national news Emmy, and the first person in cable to be nominated for an Emmy for Best Daytime Talk Show Host. Glass is a member and past chair of the Board of Advisors for Tufts University’s School of Arts as well as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and the Board of Trustees at Arcadia University. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for Women’s Campaign International, an organization that supports women in their efforts to participate in market and political processes in emerging democracies. 

Sara M. Lomax: Undergraduate Ceremony Honorary Degree and Commencement Speaker, Friday, May 19

Sara Lomax is president and CEO of WURD Radio, 900AM or 96.1FM, Pennsylvania’s only African American-owned talk radio station. Lomax is credited with transforming WURD from a legacy talk radio station to a multimedia communications company that provides original and relevant contact on air, online, and through community events. In 2021, she co-founded a new company called URL Media (which stands for Uplift, Respect and Love), a network of Black and Brown media organizations that share content, distribution and revenues to increase their long-term sustainability. Prior to her work with WURD Radio and URL, in 1992 Sara co-founded HealthQuest: Total Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit, a trailblazing African-American consumer health magazine.

For more than a decade, Lomax has provided invaluable support of and guidance to Arcadia’s faculty, Pan African Studies programming, and Black Male Development Symposium, helping to advance the University’s vision for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and its initiatives in combating anti-Black racism (CABR). In 2018, she helped launch, an environmental justice journalism platform that explores the most pressing issues facing Black people locally, nationally, and globally, connecting environmental racism, climate change, and economic opportunities. During the COVID crisis of 2020, Lomax and WURD launched Lively-HOOD, a multimedia initiative focused on jobs, career readiness, and entrepreneurship designed to address the persistent wealth gap in the Black community. A highly accomplished journalist, Lomax has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Essence Magazine, among other outlets. 

Lomax is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania — where she has also taught — and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has earned several industry awards, including the Woman of Substance Award from the National Medical Association, and the Beacon of Light Award from the Congressional Black Caucus for outstanding health coverage. Lomax has served on a variety of boards, including The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Arcadia University, among others. 


Arcadia University will award doctoral and master’s degrees to candidates on Thursday, May 18, and baccalaureate degrees to candidates on Friday, May 19. More information is available at