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Jon M. Huntsman, a 1959 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, received an honorary degree from the school during its commencement ceremonies.

Huntsman was recognized for his work as chairman and chief executive officer of the Huntsman Group, including Huntsman Chemical Corp. He also served under President Nixon as White House staff secretary and special assistant to the president."In your brilliant career as founder, chairman and CEO of the nation's largest private chemical company, you have demonstrated the value of a Penn education," university president Judith Rodin told Huntsman.

He was given an honorary doctor of laws degree at the school's graduation in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Huntsman served as a trustee of the university from 1987 to 1994. He also is a member of the board overseeing its Wharton School, where he established the Huntsman Center for Global Competition and Leadership in 1989.