Mount Ida College Names Margaret A. McKenna, President of Walmart Foundation, as 2011 Commencement Speaker
April 11, 2011
Dr. Irving Fradkin of Fall River, Founder of Dollars for Scholars, and Boston's Clementina "Tina" Chéry, Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Louis David Brown Peace Institute to Receive Honorary Degrees
Newton, MA – Mount Ida College is pleased to announce that Margaret A. McKenna, President of the Walmart Foundation, will deliver the commencement address on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11 a.m. at the College in Newton, Massachusetts.
“We are thrilled to have Margaret McKenna speak at Mount Ida’s 112th Commencement. Throughout her illustrious career, her thoughtful leadership, talent and passion have made a positive difference to the organizations and communities she has served. Whether joining the fight to end hunger at Walmart or transforming a local college into a national one, there is no challenge too big for Ms. McKenna,” stated Dr. Lance Carluccio, President, Mount Ida College.
President of the Walmart Foundation since 2007, Margaret A. McKenna oversees the giving of millions of dollars annually to initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability and health and wellness. Recently, Walmart and the Foundation generously gave a $2 billion five-year commitment to hunger relief. Prior to the Walmart Foundation, McKenna served as President of Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, transforming that college from a small, 2,000-student body, to a 12,000-student university with a national presence and reputation as a premier teaching training university. Previous to Lesley College, she served as Vice President at Radcliffe College and prior to that served in senior leadership roles in the federal government, including White House Deputy Counsel, Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education and as a civil rights lawyer at the U.S. Justice Department.
At Commencement, Mount Ida College also will proudly award honorary Doctor of Law degrees to Dr. Irving Fradkin of Fall River, Massachusetts, founder of Dollars for Scholars and to Ms. Clementina “Tina” Chéry, founder, President and CEO of the Louis David Brown Peace Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
About the Honorary Degree Recipients
In 1958, Dr. Irving A. Fradkin, an optometrist in Fall River, Massachusetts founded the initial Dollars for Scholars chapter, by challenging everyone in his community to give at least one dollar toward sending its youth to college. Since then, Dollars for Scholars has expanded into what today is the nation's largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization—Scholarship America.
For the last 50 years, Dr. Fradkin has continued to work tirelessly for Scholarship America, for students in Fall River, where he still resides with his wife Charlotte, and for education in America. Dr. Fradkin’s numerous honors include the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Distinguished Service Award, the 2010 National College Access Network’s "Champion for College Access" Award, the Isaiah Avila Award for “Uncommon Common Man,” the Schow-Donnelly Service- Before-Self Award and recognition from the Presidential Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, New England College of Optometry.
In 1994, Ms. “Tina” Chéry co-founded the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute after her 15 year old son, an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of gang activity in his Dorchester neighborhood, was murdered. Louis’ family transformed their pain and anger into power and action through the Peace Institute, which assists and empowers families impacted by violence by providing support to survivors of homicide. Applying their peace curriculum to areas schools, the Peace Institute works to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of violence on the individual, the family and the community. The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is a unique organization in the City of Boston; the Clinton administration recognized its peace curriculum as a national model.
On the recent 17th anniversary of the shooting death of her son Louis, Chéry met the man convicted of the shooting in a facilitated victim offender dialogue. This conversation was one that she sought for more than a decade; the achievements of the meeting marked an important milestone in her continuing journey toward healing and justice, including a new way to approach the issue of prisoner re-entry, and offender accountability within a framework of family, community support and engagement.
Ms. Chéry’s work, commitment and dedication to individuals, families and communities impacted by violence has been recognized and awarded, including the Lady in Order of St. Gregory the Great, bestowed by Pope John Paul; the American Red Cross 1998 Clara Barton Humanitarian Award; the Search for Common Ground 2001 International Service Award; and the 2008 Public Citizen of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter.
Mount Ida expects to confer approximately 200 degrees from the College’s five schools: Animal Science, Arts and Sciences, Business, Design and the New England Institute. Seating under the tent on the Lower Athletic Field will be on a first come, first serve basis. Handicapped parking is available. For more information on Commencement activities, please visit “2011 Commencement” on the homepage of www.mountida.edu.
Mount Ida College provides a diverse community of learners a challenging education that blends the liberal arts with professional preparation. We dedicate our energy, imagination and resources to empowering all students to achieve academically and contribute responsibly in a changing world. Founded in 1899 and located in Newton, Massachusetts, just eight miles from Boston, Mount Ida College is a private, co-educational undergraduate and graduate institution with about 1,500 full- and part-time students and a 12:1 student to faculty full-time equivalent ratio. To learn more, visit www.mountida.edu.
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