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Honorary Degree Citations

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, with this year’s honorary degree recipients: (back row, L-R) Wayne Budd, Enda Kenny and James Woods, SJ; (front, L-R) Mary Lou DeLong and Cornelia Kelley. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: May 23, 2013

Wayne A. Budd

An executive, lawyer, regulator, and prosecutor at senior corporate and government levels, Wayne A. Budd has distinguished himself as one of America’s leading attorneys. This Boston College alumnus is also recognized as an advisor, advocate, and mentor in support of education, civil rights, and our next generation of leaders.

He is as able in the boardroom as in the courtroom, and has held leadership positions in numerous organizations, including chair of The Partnership, an initiative for the advancement of professionals of color in Greater Boston. He has been a member of the board of the New England Innocence Project, general counsel and senior executive vice president of John Hancock Financial Services, and is currently senior counsel at the Boston Law firm of Goodwin Procter. He was appointed US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts in 1989 and became an Associate Attorney General of the United States in 1992.

This 1963 graduate remains deeply committed to his alma mater, where he has served as a University Trustee or Trustee Associate for the past 23 years. He is known for his balanced judgment and willingness to assist Boston College in a range of matters, including campus life, relations with local and state government, and mentoring students.

For his distinguished legal career, civic leadership, and unwavering commitment to the University, Boston College awards Wayne A. Budd the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Mary Lou DeLong     

A  Newton College of the Sacred Heart graduate and an esteemed member of our University family, Mary Lou DeLong has served Boston College in critical roles for nearly four decades. She began her career in the field of university advancement in 1976, and eventually held senior positions at Stevens Institute of Technology, Phillips Academy, and Harvard Medical School.

But she was never far from “the Heights,” providing insight and counsel as a member of our Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1989, when she became director of individual gifts at Boston College.  She was named vice president for University Relations in 1992 and then senior vice president for University Relations 12 years later. Among her many accomplishments was strengthening Boston College’s outreach to alumni, parents, and friends, and building support for various institutional initiatives.  Her efforts and those of her colleagues contributed significantly to the successful “Ever to Excel” campaign, which was completed in 2003 and raised $440 million from more than 90,000 donors.

Recognized for distinguished service by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, she is a founding member of the University’s Council for Women, now in its 10th year.  In 2008 she became the first woman to serve as University Secretary, overseeing such high profile events as Commencement and our Sesquicentennial Celebration.

Today, for her enduring dedication, generosity, and leadership, Boston Colleges bestows on Mary Lou DeLong the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Cornelia Kelley       

Sumus primi – we are first – is the motto of Boston Latin School, a phrase that describes not only the nation’s first public school, but also the appointment of Cornelia Kelley as the first female headmaster of this renowned institution.  During her tenure, she promoted academic rigor, enhanced alumni support, and oversaw unprecedented growth and construction, including a new wing devoted to the visual and performing arts, a media center recognized as the most advanced school library in the country, and the incorporation of modern technology into every classroom.

A lifelong resident of Boston and 1969 graduate of the Newton College of the Sacred Heart, her commitment to Boston’s children began as an English teacher at Brighton High School. During her years as an administrator, she was guided by an often-quoted educational philosophy: “Always ask what is in the best interest of young people.” 

Headmaster for nearly a decade, she increased Boston Latin School’s international reputation, promoting it as an educational model for schools in China, Ireland, Ghana and Turkey.  Today, as an independent education consultant, Kelley brings her extensive experience and high standards to schools in the United States and abroad.

For her distinguished leadership and a life dedicated to education, Boston College confers upon Cornelia Kelley the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.  

Enda Kenny

Two years ago, Enda Kenny — a climber of hills and mountains, including  Mount Kilimanjaro — ascended yet another peak in his nearly four decades of public service when he became Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, of Ireland.   This achievement also affirmed his vision and goals for Fine Gael, a struggling political party when he became its leader in 2002, and now the largest in the Irish Parliament, Dáil Éireann.

A County Mayo native and one-time primary school teacher, he came to public life following the death of his father, a parliamentary secretary in the government. At 24 years of age, he won a seat in the Dáil. He gained experience in a multitude of governmental areas — youth affairs, sport, western development, education, arts and heritage — and eventually became minister for tourism and trade, a tenure that saw significant growth in travel to Ireland and in its international trade position.

He understands that politics and government service, like mountain climbing, require stamina and perseverance.  Since becoming prime minister, he has had to deal with Ireland’s daunting fiscal crisis as well as various political and social challenges.  In doing so, he has been guided by his political principles and desire to work for the greater good.

As it celebrates its 150th anniversary and Irish roots, Boston College welcomes Enda Kenny, public servant and government leader in Ireland, to our intellectual and faith community, and confers on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

James A. Woods, SJ

To a man of superlatives—renowned on “the Heights” for his jovial nature and such signature salutations as “excellent,” “super,” and “couldn’t be better,” we pay tribute now to a superlative career as Jesuit priest, educator, mentor, colleague, and friend.

Founding dean of the Woods College of Advancing Studies, Fr. James Woods of the Society of Jesus headed a school that not only bears his name, but also reflects his vision and vocation, and continues his commitment to the education of first-generation students and adult learners.

He worked tirelessly for more than four decades to help make Jesuit, Catholic education at Boston College available to nontraditional students. Thousands benefited from his personal and academic guidance as he conveyed to prospective students and eventual graduates his confidence and conviction that they could succeed in higher education and achieve their professional goals and life dreams.

An inspiration to generations of Woods College students, he has contributed immeasurably to Boston College and its mission.

To this dedicated son of Ignatius, a true man for others, generous in heart, mind, and spirit, Boston College confers on Fr. James Woods of the Society of Jesus the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.