Brené Brown

Date: 
2013-05-14

Proud fifth generation Texan, Episcopalian, best selling author, research professor. You have dedicated the last decade to studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame, and your stories emanating from your research have struck a cord in the hearts and minds of millions of people.

Earning your Bachelor of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, you went on to earn an MSW and PhD at the University of Houston where you are research professor in the Graduate College of Social Work.

You developed Connections, a psychoeducational shame resilience curriculum with a certification process that is facilitated by mental health and addiction professionals across the nation.

You have authored Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, a #1 New York Times Bestseller published in 2012; The Gifts of Imperfection; and I Thought It Was Just Me. Your work has been featured on PBS, CNN, and National Public Radio, and you have appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday, the Katie Show, Good Life Project, and TED talks.

Your 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability had over 6 million views on TED.com. Your funny, straight talking, sometimes irreverent style while delivering your research-based work on our very human issues of shame, vulnerability and courage has caught the attention and respect of millions.

You preach wholehearted living, and you and your husband Steve strive to practice wholehearted parenting. In your Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, you write, “We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.”

Whether you are driving car pool for your children, taking a friend to lunch, speaking to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or teaching your social work students, you inspire honesty and courage and love for self and others. In recognition of your accomplishments and your dedication to sharing your research for the good of all, Seminary of the Southwest is honored to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.


Austin, Texas                                                                                                                                  May 14, 2013