May 27, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 18

Front (L-R): Blenda Wilson, Sister Katarina Schoth, OSF. Back (L-R): Thomas Busch, University President William Leahy, SJ, Tim Russert, Boston Archbishop Sean P. OíMalley, OFM, Cap., Rev. Raymond Hammond. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Honorary Degree Citations

The following are excerpts from the citations for this year's honorary degree recipients, written by Senior Development Officer James McGahay:

Thomas Busch: "In 1970, this former chief engineer of the Boston College campus radio station traveled north to his future, volunteering his expertise to assist a new Jesuit Radio Mission in Alaska. Since 1975, he has served as General Manager of Nome, Alaska's station KNOM, whose blinking antenna on the edge of the Bering Sea transmits news, information, music, entertainment, spiritual inspiration, and the warmth of human connection across 100,000 square miles of western Alaska, into remote Eskimo and Indian villages, and along several thousand miles of Russian coastline. Under his stewardship, the nation's oldest Catholic radio station, supported entirely by private donations, has become a perennial recipient of the broadcast industry's most prestigious awards, a curator and disseminator of native Alaskan culture, and the station of choice for 90 percent of the listeners in its broadcast range."

Rev. Raymond Hammond II: "He entered Harvard as a sophomore at age 15, graduated at age 19, and was a Harvard-trained medical doctor at 23 years of age. Sacrificing a well-established and lucrative practice as an Emergency Room physician, he answered the call to ministry and chose to walk in the footsteps of Christ the Healer. As founding pastor to the vibrant faith community of Boston's Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, he has, like Christ, carried his ministry into the city's often challenging streets. Chairman and co-founder of the Ten Point Coalition, he leads a community-based effort acclaimed as the most successful and collaborative initiative in the nation to give at-risk inner city youth the support they need to turn away from lives of violence and despair."

Tim Russert: "He began his career in journalism as a seventh grader at St. Bonaventure School in Buffalo, New York, when Sister Mary Lucille started a school newspaper and named him the editor. As managing editor and moderator of 'Meet the Press,' he directs the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs interview program in America and the most-quoted news program in the world. Political analyst for NBC's 'Nightly News' and 'Today' shows; trusted and astute interviewer of every major figure on the American political scene; anchor of a weekly CNBC program examining the role of the media in American society; contributing anchor for MSNBC, and Washington bureau chief for NBC News, he has been hailed as the best and most influential journalist in Washington, DC. With admiration for his consistent pursuit and achievement of the highest standard of excellence in journalism and regard for the personal integrity that has earned him universal respect and such titles of honor as Real Dad, Dream Dad, and Father of the Year, Boston College proclaims Timothy John Russert Doctor of Laws."

Sister Katarina Schuth, OSF: "In her ministry as teacher, scholar, lecturer, and writer, we witness the Franciscan spirit born of the command, 'Go, Francis, and repair my house.' Holder of the Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, she is a leading authority on our nation's Catholic seminaries. Using the social scientist's techniques of field study and interviews, which she perfected during doctoral studies in cultural geography at Syracuse University, she has mapped the culture of seminaries and sketched a changing landscape of insights and trends for the future of Roman Catholic seminaries, bringing enlightenment and renewal to priestly formation and broadening our understanding of the relationship between the Church and American culture."

Blenda J. Wilson: "Notable success in administrative roles as senior associate dean at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, executive director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, and Chancellor of the University of Michigan at Dearborn ultimately brought this distinguished alumna to the presidency of California State University at Northridge, where she revitalized the institution, redefined its mission, and capably led an extraordinary recovery effort following the devastating Northridge earthquake of 1994. As the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the largest foundation in New England focused exclusively on education, she now applies that wealth of leadership experience to promote access, quality, and effectiveness in education from pre-school to adulthood for underserved and at-risk populations."

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