Googled: Distinguished guests (2005)

Published: June 2005

The University’s 129th Commencement exercises on May 23, 2005, featured six honorary degree awards.

Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire

Canadian Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire led the United Nations peacekeeping mission during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. He warned the international community of the threat of genocide, but was generally ignored. Some 800,000 people were murdered, and Dallaire himself saved thousands. He is the author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda (Random House Canada, 2003) and the subject of an award-winning documentary film of the same name. Dallaire will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Emmanual College President Sister Janet Eisner, SND, MA'69

Sister Janet Eisner, SND, M.A.’69, has been president of Emmanuel College, a Catholic, coeducational, liberal arts and sciences college in Boston for 25 years. During her tenure, she helped found the Colleges of the Fenway, a consortium of six institutions that share academic and cultural resources, and urged the admission of men, which resulted in a doubling of enrollments at Emmanuel. Sr. Eisner will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Doctor Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is a medical anthropologist and physician, whose innovative treatments for tuberculosis and AIDS have helped hundreds of thousands of patients in impoverished countries. He is cofounder of Partners In Health, a Boston-based organization, and holds posts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School. Tracy Kidder’s bestselling Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House, 2003) chronicles Farmer’s work in Haiti. Farmer will address the Class of 2005 during the ceremony and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Xavier University of Louisiana President Norman C. Francis

Norman C. Francis, since 1968 president of Xavier University of Louisiana—the nation’s only historically black, Catholic university—has overseen growth in enrollment, fundraising, and construction, and has championed academic excellence at his institution. He has been an advisor to five U.S. presidents and is a leader in national civil rights, educational, civic, and religious organizations. Francis will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Boston Archbishop Reverend Sean P. O'Malley, OFM, Cap.

Seán P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap., was born in Ohio in 1944. At 26 he became a Franciscan priest and in 1984 was ordained a bishop—a position he went on to hold in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands; Fall River, Massachusetts; and Palm Beach, Florida. O’Malley, who was known for his sensitive handling of sexual abuse crises in Fall River and Palm Beach, was named archbishop of Boston in 2003 in the wake of its own crisis and the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law. O’Malley oversaw an $85 million settlement agreement with victims and has embarked on a difficult reorganization of parishes and schools dictated by financial constraints and a shortage of priests. O’Malley will receive an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology degree.

Sara Martinez Tucker, president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Sara Martinez Tucker, president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, is a champion of Hispanic education and has set a goal of doubling the number of Latino college graduates by 2006. The fund has awarded $25 million in scholarship support in each of the past three years. The first Hispanic woman to reach an executive-level position at AT&T, she received Hispanic magazine’s Heritage Achievement Award for Education in 1998. Martinez Tucker will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.


Read more about the honorary degree recipients in the Chronicle.

This feature was posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 and is filed under Alumni.