Dame Marjorie Scardino, Honorary Degree Recipient

Dame Marjorie Scardino is presented her honorary degree by President Anthony W. Marx.

Doctor of Laws

Dame Marjorie Scardino became the United Kingdom’s first female chief executive of a top-100 company when she was appointed CEO of Pearson PLC in 1997. In addition to being one of the largest book publishers in the English-speaking world, Pearson owns the Financial Times Group, which publishes the Financial Times newspaper; the Financial Times Group, in turn, has a 50 percent stake in the Economist Group, which publishes the magazine The Economist. Scardino has made bold decisions to reorganize Pearson, which is based in London.

Born and raised in the Southwest United States, Scardino graduated from Baylor University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. She got her start as a dictationist and then a desk editor for the Associated Press. While she was working as the managing partner of a law firm in Savannah, Ga., she and her husband started a weekly newspaper, the Georgia Gazette, which earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1984. From 1985 to 1996, she was president of North American operations at the Economist Newspaper Group, Inc., and then CEO of the Economist Group. Under her leadership, circulation of the The Economist magazine more than doubled in North America. This success led to Scardino’s appointment at Pearson.

Scardino is also a non-executive director of Nokia, a trustee of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and Oxfam International and a member of the boards of the MacArthur Foundation and the Carter Center. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Queen Elizabeth II made her a Dame of the British Empire in 2002, shortly after she took U.K. citizenship, in recognition of her contributions to British media.