State Street Corporation Chair, President and CEO Joseph L. Hooley, Boston Medical Center President and CEO Kate Walsh, and Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman will speak as more than 2,500 students receive undergraduate and advanced degrees at Suffolk University commencement exercises on May 17 and 18, 2014.

Sawyer Business School—May 18

Hooley will speak at the Sawyer Business School ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 18, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on the Boston waterfront. During his tenure at State Street, he has helped build and strengthen units involved in a variety of tasks, from data and shareholder services to acquisitions and corporate technology. He has positioned State Street as a global leader in providing financial services to institutional investors. Hooley will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree.

College of Arts & Sciences—May 18

Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center, will speak at the College of Arts & Sciences commencement at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on the Boston waterfront. She has improved access to quality health care for some of the poorest patients in Massachusetts in addition to strengthening the hospital’s finances and operations to ensure the long-range stability of clinical care and medical education programs. Walsh will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Law School—May 17

Foxman, a worldwide leader in the fight against bigotry, will be the keynote speaker at the Law School ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at the Citi Performing Arts Center-Wang Theatre, in Boston’s Theatre District. Foxman is a Holocaust survivor who joined the ADL in 1965 and has devoted his life to fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination throughout the world. The national director of the Anti-Defamation League will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) also will give remarks. Markey served for 37 years in the U.S. House before being elected last year to fill the seat held by now-Secretary of State John Kerry. He will received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

Honorary degrees

In addition, the following honorary degrees will be awarded during Suffolk University commencement exercises:

  • William Hubbard, president-elect of the American Bar Association, honorary Doctor of Laws degree
  • Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, honorary Doctor of Laws degree
  • Cedric Cromwell, tribal council chairman for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts, honorary Doctor of Laws degree
  • John Harthorne, chief executive officer for MassChallenge, Inc., a start-up accelerator that provides support to entrepreneurs around the world, honorary Doctor of Commerce degree
  • Financial executive Robert C. Pozen, former chairman of MFS Investment Management and a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, honorary Doctor of Business degree
  • Sam Berns, who made a significant contribution to science through his willingness to shed light on Progeria while inspiring people to live life to the fullest, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, posthumous
  • Beverly A. Morgan-Welch, executive director of the Museum of African American History, who has worked diligently to tell the stories of emancipated and liberated black communities in New England, honorary Doctor of Public Service degree

Brief biographies of the honorary degree recipients follow.

  • Sam Berns

    Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters*

    The late Sam Berns was a junior at Foxborough High School in Massachusetts, where he achieved highest honors and was a member of the National Honor Society. Berns was a percussion section leader in his high school band and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a highlighted speaker at TEDx MidAtlantic in 2013 and is featured in the inspiring HBO documentary Life According to Sam. The film focuses on Berns’ progeria diagnosis at age 2 and his physician parents’ efforts to prolong the lives of Berns and other children with the disease, which causes accelerated aging. Berns was fully aware that every day is a gift and that we can achieve anything we set out to do. Through his courage, spirit, kindness and love, he will forever inspire those who came to know him and his story.


  • Cedric Cromwell

    Honorary Doctor of Laws

    Cedric Cromwell is chair of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council. Cromwell, a member of the Tribal Council since 2000 who was elected chair in 2009, has focused on increasing economic development opportunities for the tribe. He spearheaded the tribe’s efforts to protect its sovereignty in areas including aboriginal hunting and fishing rights and significant historical land claims, while asserting the tribe’s right to open and operate a gaming facility under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Cromwell also has been the key proponent of the tribe’s pursuing the land-into-trust application, currently pending before the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior, to create the now-landless tribe’s initial reservation. Before he was elected chair, Cromwell served as a business portfolio manager and director of project management at Fidelity Investments. He holds a degree in Management and Community Planning from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

  • Abraham H. Foxman

    Honorary Doctor of Laws

    Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) since 1987, is a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination. He consistently speaks out on major issues, including the rise of global anti-Semitism, the war on terrorism, church/state issues, religious intolerance and issues relating to the Holocaust. Foxman regularly confers with elected officials and community leaders here and abroad on problems of ethnic hatred, violence, terrorism and promoting democracy. He has had consultations in Europe, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, China, Japan, South Africa, and Argentina and with Palestinian leaders. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, was a member of the President’s United States Holocaust Memorial Council, appointed by Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. Among his publications are Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet (co-author) and Jews & Money: The Story of a Stereotype. He holds a BA in political science from the City College of the City University of New York and a JD from New York University School of Law, and he did graduate work at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at The New School for Social Research.

  • John Harthorne

    Honorary Doctor of Commerce

    John Harthorne is the founder and CEO of MassChallenge, which President Barack Obama identified as one of America’s most effective startup accelerators in 2011. Startups participating in the 2010-2012 MassChallenge accelerator raised more than $350 million and created more than 3,000 jobs. The Boston Business Journal identified Harthorne as one of Boston's 50 Most Influential Business Leaders in 2011; the World Economic Forum elected him to its Young Global Leaders Class of 2013; and Ernst & Young voted him a New England Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013. Harthorne holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he won the grand prize in the 2007 MIT $100K Business Plan Competition and received the 2007 Patrick J. McGovern Award for impact on quality and visibility of entrepreneurship at MIT. Harthorne also led the 10th annual MIT Global Startup Workshop held in Trondheim, Norway.

  • Joseph L. Hooley

    Honorary Doctor of Commerce

    Joseph L. Hooley, as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of State Street Corporation, is responsible for the company’s asset servicing and trading activities worldwide and oversees securities operations and corporate technology. He has held diverse leadership positions since joining State Street in 1986, having led the US Mutual Fund sales organization, served as president and chief executive officer of National Financial Data Services and Boston Financial Data Services, and managed State Street’s global investment servicing business. He played a lead role in strategic acquisitions, including Deutsche Bank’s Global Securities Services business and Investors Financial Services Corporation. Hooley is a director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the President’s Council of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and a Boston College trustee. He helps to identify women candidates for openings on corporate boards as a member of the Boston Club’s Corporate Advisory Board. Hooley serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Financial Services Forum, a non-partisan financial and economic policy organization. He holds a BS from Boston College.

  • William C. Hubbard

    Honorary Doctor of Laws

    William C. Hubbard is president-elect of the American Bar Association. Areas of focus for his presidency will include legal education reform, access to justice for the poor, disparities in incarceration, diversity in the legal profession, and developing a blueprint to help lawyers and judges adapt to technology and globalization. Hubbard is a partner in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he practices business litigation. He chairs the board of directors of the World Justice Project, a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law worldwide, and he is a permanent member of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. He is a member of the council of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2002, Hubbard received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award given by the governor of South Carolina. Before entering practice, he served as a law clerk for Judge Robert F. Chapman of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Hubbard holds a BA in history from the University of South Carolina and a JD from the USC School of Law.

  • The Hon. Edward J. Markey

    Honorary Doctor of Public Service

    Senator Edward J. Markey has a legislative record on major issues across the policy spectrum and a deep commitment to improving people’s lives. He is a consumer champion and national leader on energy, environmental protection, and telecommunications policy. Markey served for 37 years in the U.S. House before a special election in 2013 sent him to the Senate. He also served two terms in the Massachusetts House. He has advocated for many significant measures, including a fuel economy law that will increase fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and a law that stopped the construction of hundreds of coal-fired plants. He has been instrumental in breaking up anti-consumer, anti-innovative monopolies in electricity, telephone service, cable television, and international satellite services. Markey also has been a Congressional champion on nuclear nonproliferation. He is the author of Wall Street reform laws that strengthened penalties against insider trading, improved federal oversight over the stock and futures markets, and reformed regulation of the government securities market. Markey, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve, holds a BA from Boston College and a JD from Boston College Law School.

  • Beverly A. Morgan-Welch

    Honorary Doctor of Public Service

    Beverly A. Morgan-Welch is the executive director of the Museum of African American History in Boston and Nantucket. She oversaw the award-winning historic restoration of the 1806 African Meeting House in Boston, which has hosted such American giants as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Maria Stewart. While preserving some of America’s most significant African American National Historic Landmarks, she continues to develop powerful new programming and special events. Morgan-Welch works in partnership with many organizations, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Trust for Public Land, and Suffolk University’s College of Arts & Sciences. Before joining the Museum of African American History, Morgan-Welch served as executive director of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, director of development at the Wadsworth Atheneum, manager of community relations at Raytheon and Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, and assistant dean of admission at Amherst College. She is a member of the Antiquarian Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, and Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Morgan-Welch is a graduate of Smith College.

  • Robert C. Pozen

    Honorary Doctor of Business

    Robert C. Pozen is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has been active in business, government and academia, having served as the executive chairman of MFS Investment Management, vice chairman of Fidelity Investments and president of Fidelity Management & Research Company. In 2011, he received the Fund Action Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his work in the mutual fund industry. Pozen served on President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, where he developed a progressive plan to make the system solvent, and he served as Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs during the Romney administration. In 2007, he served as chairman of the SEC's Committee to Improve Financial Reporting. Pozen frequently writes for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review. He is the author of Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours; Too Big To Save? How to Fix the US Financial System; and The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed, an investors’ guide. He holds degrees from Harvard College and Yale Law School. He also obtained a Yale doctorate for a book on state enterprises in Africa.

  • The Hon. Carl E. Stewart

    Honorary Doctor of Laws

    Carl E. Stewart has been chief judge of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals since 2012, having been appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. He began his legal career as a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps. Later he served with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, as an assistant U.S. attorney, special assistant city and district attorney, as a private practitioner and as an elected judge. He is a charter member of the Harry V. Booth and Judge Henry A. Politz Chapter of American Inns of Court in Shreveport and serves as vice president of the American Inns of Court Foundation. Stewart was named the Louisiana Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Louisiana Chapter of the Jaycees, and won the Black Leader of the Year award from the Southern University Shreveport-Bossier Afro-American Society. His legal and community service also include serving on the Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Committee; the National Bar Association Judicial Council, Louis Westerfield Legal Society and the Just the Beginning Foundation of African-American Federal Judges. He is an active volunteer in Boy Scouting at the local, regional and national levels. He received the Clyde E. Fant Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service and the A.P. Tureaud Achievement Award from the Loyola University School of Law Black Law Students Association. Stewart holds a BA from Dillard University and a JD from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans.

  • Kate Walsh

    Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

    Kate Walsh is president and CEO of Boston Medical Center, an academic medical center that also operates 14 community health centers and a statewide Medicaid managed care organization. Before joining Boston Medical Center in 2010, Walsh served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and as the chief operating officer for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. She began her career in health care as a summer intern at Brookside Health Center in Jamaica Plain and then held positions in a number of New York City hospitals before joining Massachusetts General Hospital, where she rose from assistant general director in medical services to senior vice president of medical services and the MGH Cancer Center. In 2013, Walsh was named a “Hero of Health Care” by the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston. She is a member of several boards, including Emmanuel College, the YMCA of Greater Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Massachusetts Hospital Association. She is on the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Advisory Board. In addition, she is a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. Walsh holds a BA and a master’s degree in public health from Yale University.