New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, businessman and philanthropist Paul Fireman and political journalist Chris Matthews will speak as more than 2,500 students receive undergraduate and advanced degrees at Suffolk University commencement exercises on May 19 and 20 at the Bank of America Pavilion on the Boston waterfront.

College of Arts and Sciences

Kraft, chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, which in addition to the Patriots, New England Revolution and Gillette Stadium, holds assets in paper and packaging, real estate development and a private equity portfolio, will speak at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19. Kraft also is involved in philanthropy focused on education, youth and athletic opportunity.

Sawyer Business School

Fireman, the chair of Fireman Capital Partners, will speak at the Sawyer Business School ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19. He founded and served as chair and CEO of Reebok International, which rose to the top of the athletic apparel industry in the 1980s when it pioneered the concept of melding fashion with athletic gear.

Suffolk University Law School

Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball and The Chris Matthews Show on NBC, will speak at the Law School ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 20. Matthews went from the Peace Corps to staff jobs on Capitol Hill and worked as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter before making his mark in newspapers and gaining national and international recognition in broadcast journalism.

Honorary degrees

The following honorary degrees will be awarded during Suffolk University College of Arts and Sciences exercises:

  • Kraft will be honored with a Doctor of Public Service degree. 
  • Award-winning author, historian and public television personality David McCullough will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. 
  • Karen Kaplan of Hill Holliday, who rose from receptionist to president of one of the nation’s largest advertising firms, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

The following honorary degrees will be awarded during Sawyer Business School exercises:

  • Fireman will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree. 
  • James T. Brett, MPA '76, president and CEO of The New England Council and an advocate for public policy issues such as health care, education, financial services and energy, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.
  • Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank and a tireless advocate for the hungry for more than three decades, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service.

The following honorary degrees will be awarded during Suffolk University Law School exercises:

  • Matthews will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
  • Journalist and lawyer Jim Braude, anchor of Broadside: The News with Jim Braude, a news and analysis show on NECN, and co-host of Boston Public Radio on WGBH, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
  • The Hon. Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., who serves the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He was in private practice and then served as chief of the Narcotics Bureau in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey before he was appointed to the federal bench in 1996.