Meet the 2023 Honorary Degree Recipients

Ed Rapp

Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

May 2023

Ed Rapp has led a life dedicated to improving the lives of others. A respected leader known for his integrity and philanthropic nature, Rapp is a first-generation college student from rural Missouri and a proud alumnus of the University of Missouri.

In 1979, Rapp received a bachelor’s degree in finance from MU and began work as a pricing analyst at Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. He had a highly successful career at Caterpillar, serving in numerous positions over the next 37 years, including being named group president in 2007 and chief financial officer in 2010. Over the years, he lived and worked around the world, including assignments in the United States, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Rapp’s career was cut short in late 2015, when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Scierosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In 2016, he retired from Caterpillar and founded Stay Strong vs. ALS that invests in institutions focused on finding a cure and improving assistive technologies for ALS patients. To date, his foundation has raised more than $15 million in support of finding a cure for ALS. Additionally, Rapp serves on the executive committee of ALS Finding a Cure and is the chairman of the advisory board of Answer ALS.

In addition to his degree from MU, Rapp is a graduate of the University of Illinois Executive Development program.


Kristy L. Weber, MD

Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa

May 2023

Born in St. Louis, Kristy L. Weber is among the most accomplished orthopaedic surgeons in the world, specializing in the treatment of children and adults with benign and malignant bone and soft tissue tumors as well as metastatic bone disease. Today, she is the Abramson Family Professor in Sarcoma Care Excellence and vice chair of faculty affairs in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania as well as director of the Sarcoma Program at the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Weber has built a collaborative sarcoma research team combining clinical and basic research between Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Her impressive journey began at the University of Missouri, where Weber graduated summa cum laude in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. She went on to earn a medical degree from John Hopkins School of Medicine before eventually finding her passion in orthopaedic oncology and serving as a fellow in orthopaedic oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Weber has earned high recognition as a clinical doctor, being named to both America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America from 2015 to 2018. She was also named to Philadelphia magazine’s annual Top Docs in 2018 and 2019 and Baltimore Magazine’s Best Doctors in 2011. She has contributed to more than 100 published manuscripts, 48 book chapters and six books since 1989 and has been invited to make more than 200 presentations.

Weber is regarded as a preeminent physician, orthopaedic surgeon, academic scholar and national leader while also embodying the highest character, standards and professionalism.


View past honorary degree recipients