Prominent figures from government, business, and academia will speak at Suffolk University’s three commencement ceremonies taking place on Sunday, May 21, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on the Boston waterfront.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who has committed his career to expanding opportunity for all, will speak at the Suffolk University Law School commencement ceremonies at 5 p.m.
Carol Fulp, a leader in enhancing regional competitiveness by creating opportunities for professionals of diverse backgrounds, will deliver the 2017 Sawyer Business School undergraduate commencement address at 9 a.m.
Robert D. Putnam, a political scientist whom the London Sunday Times has called “the most influential academic in the world today,” will speak to the College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate Class of 2017 at 1 p.m.
The University will award each of the speakers an honorary degree in recognition of their leadership and accomplishments.
“We look forward to honoring these outstanding leaders and listening as they share with our graduates their observations about the state of social, political and civic life in Boston, America and the world,” said Suffolk University Acting President Marisa Kelly.
Martin J. Walsh
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is a champion for civil rights and an advocate for working people and job creation. He began his career in the building trades and led the Building and Construction Trades Council from 2011 to 2013. In this role he created a model program to increase workplace diversity and provide career opportunities for women and people of color. He served 16 years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Walsh was elected mayor of Boston in 2013.
Throughout his political career, Walsh has focused on economic equity. He has worked to support homeless residents while fighting to end homelessness. And he has been a strong advocate for marriage equality.
Now, in leading a city that is a hotbed of entrepreneurship, Walsh is bringing a spirit of collaboration that involves city residents, employers, workers and lawmakers within and beyond the city and state.
Carol Fulp is president and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., where she works to enhance New England competitiveness by attracting, developing, retaining, and convening professionals of diverse backgrounds. She introduced a leadership development program to expand opportunities at the highest levels of corporations.
Before leading The Partnership, Fulp was senior vice president of corporate responsibility and brand management at John Hancock Financial., where she led the company’s marketing and sponsorships departments while directing its $12 million philanthropic giving program. She has served as a U.S. senior adviser to the 65th session of the U.N. General Assembly and as a member of the City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board and the State Treasurer’s Advisory Committee on Wage Equality. Her civic involvement includes serving as a founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Conference for Women, the largest professional women’s conference in the country.
Fulp will be the recipient of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s distinguished citizen award this May. She has received many additional awards and honors, including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award and the Museum of African American History’s Living Legend Award. Boston Business Journal has listed Fulp as one of the “50 Most Influential Bostonians,” and in 2015 Boston Magazine listed her as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Boston.”
Robert D. Putnam
Robert D. Putnam, the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, has written 14 books, translated into more than 20 languages. His most recent book is Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, which examines inequality and the American “opportunity gap.”
He has consulted for three American presidents, three British prime ministers, a French president, prime ministers from Ireland to Singapore, and hundreds of grassroots leaders and activists in many countries. He cofounded the Saguaro Seminar, bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners to develop actionable ideas for civic renewal. Putnam is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy and past president of the American Political Science Association. He has received many scholarly honors, including the Skytte Prize, the most prestigious global award in political science, and the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities.
Before coming to Harvard in 1979, Putnam taught at the University of Michigan and served on the staff of the National Security Council. He also has served as dean of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Five ceremonies over two days
Commencement ceremonies for Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School graduate students will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Westin Copley Place, with the College of Arts & Sciences graduate program ceremonies at 1 p.m. in the same location.
The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on the waterfront is the site for May 21 ceremonies for undergraduates of the Sawyer Business School, 9 a.m., and College of Arts & Sciences undergraduates, 1 p.m., and for the Law School, 5 p.m.