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Five Receive Honorary Degrees

Five Receive Honorary Degrees

Back row, left to right: Bishop Joseph F. Maguire '41, Tommy Thompson, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, Frank B. Campanella and Bishop William F. Murphy. Front row, left to right: Patrick Roche '51, Cherryl Thomas, Sister Elizabeth White, RSCJ, who accepted the honorary degree for Sister Clare Pratt, RSCJ, NC, '67 and Thomas Durant '51, MD. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Five honorary degrees were given at Boston College's 125th Commencement Exercises on May 21. The honorees are listed below, with their degrees and excerpts from the accompanying citations written by Senior Development Officer James McGahay:

Francis B. Campanella

Frank by name and frank by nature, he has been called a legend by those who understand the business of universities. Three years after he arrived as a professor of finance, he was asked by then President J. Donald Monan, SJ, to become executive vice president and chief operating officer for a troubled institution facing great financial uncertainty, growing student unrest, and low faculty morale. He took his post with a Marine's confidence, helped develop a financial plan that became a national model, promoted long-range planning and management systems now standard at sound, well-managed institutions, supported investment in technology and facilities, played a crucial role in our evolution into a national university, and helped foster the culture of community and trust for which we are widely envied ... Boston College welcomes a towering figure to the illustrious company of her honorary doctors, declaring Francis B. Campanella Doctor of Laws .

Thomas S. Durant, MD

This newly minted Golden Eagle radiates the splendor of the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Sermon on the Mount. Assistant General Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital and distinguished physician holding teaching appointments at both the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, he has journeyed far from his Dorchester boyhood home on a worldwide odyssey of mercy. Compelled by the horrors he witnessed firsthand as chief medical officer for the civilian population in South Vietnam, he began a lifelong second career as a medical volunteer to bring healing and hope to teeming refugee camps ... in an on-going saga of caring and compassion that earned him the United Nations' 50th Anniversary World Humanitarian Award. Proclaiming profound admiration for a just and righteous son's inspiring imitation of Christ the Healer, Boston College confers upon Thomas S. Durant the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters .

Clare S. Pratt, RSCJ

From the ashes of the French Revolution rose the extraordinary idea of a company of religious women, kindred to the then-suppressed Society of Jesus, whose mission it would be to help restore Christian life in France as teachers of children and young women. .. Two centuries later to the day, a graduate of Washington's Country Day School of the Sacred Heart and Newton College began her eight-year term as the first American Superior General of the society of the Sacred Heart. With pride in her labors in the vineyard of the Lord and her "servant leadership" of nearly 3,500 Religious heeding "the pull of the poor" throughout the world, with esteem for her Society "marked by great union among its members and by a vital desire to procure the greater glory of God," and with admiration for a renowned legacy of excellence in Catholic education, Boston College joyfully proclaims Sister Clare Pratt, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Patrick E. Roche

The business enterprise bearing his family name mirrors his personal integrity and deep-seated commitment to community involvement and living the golden rule. A graduate of the Boston Latin School and member of our Golden Eagle Class of 1951, he served his apprenticeship during his college years, as a part-time meat-cutter at the First National Stores, then took the express lane to become today's respected innovator and leader in the food industry. With equal dedication, he has pursued another notable career of aid and philanthropy to worthy causes, including Catholic and public schools, higher education, the Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Boston, the American Ireland Fund, the Parkway Boys and Girls Club, food pantries, elder assistance programs, and a host of others. To signify deep regard for a loyal son whose life honors his Alma Mater and exemplifies ideals and values revered by this community of teachers and scholars, Boston College proudly confers upon Patrick E. Roche the degree of Doctor of Business Administration .

Cherryl T. Thomas

The professional history of the Marquette University alumna reflects Jesuit education's ideal of learning in the service of others. A native and current resident of Chicago, the metropolis described as "the city that works," she played key administrative roles during a 30-year career in city government and civic agencies maintaining that reputation ... Appointed by President Clinton in 1998, she now serves as Chair of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, which administers the $8-billion-a-year federal benefit programs covering the nation's railroad workforce and their families. Admiring the distinctly Ignatian quality of a dedicated and gifted public servant, Boston College takes pleasure in declaring Cherryl T. Thomas Doctor of Public Administration.

Tommy G. Thompson

At the youth ful age of 24, he stepped into the maelstrom of politics and became a political giant, serving 34 years in elective office , first for twenty years in the Wisconsin state assembly, followed by a record four terms in the governor's office. As Wisconsin's governor, he gained national attention in shaping the debate of welfare reform, badgering federal regulators and state legislators alike for initiatives to eradicate the entrenched bureaucracy of poverty. Now Secretary of Health and Human Services and chief advocate for the health and welfare of all Americans, he brings vast executive experience to leading the nation's largest civilian agency and administering its $429 billion budget to address crucial issues in American society. Holding his advocacy for the sanctity of life and for our most vulnerable citizens in special regard, Boston College honors a skilled political practitioner and principled public servant, conferring upon Tommy G. Thompson the degree of Doctor of Laws.


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