Googled: Distinguished guests

Published: May 2006

The University’s 130th Commencement exercises on May 22, 2006, will feature four honorary degree awards.

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice became the 66th U.S. Secretary of State on January 26, 2005, and was President George W. Bush’s national security advisor for the previous four years. Rice received a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She joined Stanford University’s faculty in 1981 as a professor of political science, received two of the university’s highest teaching honors, and served as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 1989 to 1991, during the period of German reunification and the final days of the Soviet Union, Rice served in the administration of President George H. W. Bush as director, and then senior director, of Soviet and East European affairs in the National Security Council, and as special assistant to the president for national security affairs. She served as provost of Stanford University from 1993 to 1999. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Rice has served on the boards of corporations and nonprofit organizations, and is the author of several books, including Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow. Rice will address the Class of 2006 during the ceremony and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Kenneth Hackett

Kenneth Hackett, a 1968 graduate of Boston College, is president of the humanitarian agency Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which he joined more than 30 years ago. Hackett oversees operations in 99 countries and commands a global staff of more than 4,000 from the Baltimore-based CRS. A native of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Hackett joined the Peace Corps after graduating from Boston College and was assigned to serve in Ghana. Hackett started his career with CRS in Sierra Leone and has served in posts throughout Africa and in the Philippines. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., and was named a knight commander of the Papal Order of Saint Gregory the Great. Hackett is the former North America president of Caritas Internationalis. In 2004, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination to the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a federal effort to increase aid to countries that demonstrate a commitment to justice and economic freedom. Hackett will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Pierce Imbert

Pierre Imbert, who fled political oppression in his native Haiti more than two decades ago, was appointed director of the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants in 2005 by Governor Mitt Romney. When Imbert first came to the United States, he worked as a dishwasher to put himself through the University of Massachusetts Boston. He previously served as the executive director of the Haitian Multi-Service Center, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a community-based organization of Catholic Charities. He has served on the Governor’s Commission on Responsible Fatherhood and Family Support and continues to be involved in a host of other community organizations and activities. In 2005 he was named a Barr fellow, a program that recognizes nonprofit leaders in the Boston area. At the Office of Refugees and Immigrants, which administers the federally funded Massachusetts refugee resettlement program, Imbert oversees 20 employees and a $15 million budget. Imbert will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Administration degree.

Elizabeth S. White

Elizabeth S. White, RSCJ, a specialist in English literature, has spent more than five decades working in higher education at Newton College of the Sacred Heart and at Boston College. She holds a doctoral degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., entered the order of the Religious of the Sacred Heart in 1942, and made her final vows in Rome in 1950. Sr. White taught at the Newton College of the Sacred Heart from 1948 until 1975 when it merged with Boston College, where she joined the faculty of the English department. She continues to teach in the University’s Honors Program, leads the Newton College book club meetings for the Alumni Association, and is an instructor at the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Boston College’s Dover Retreat Center. Sr. White will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.



Read more about the honorary degree recipients from Public Affairs and about Rice’s visit from the Chronicle and @BC.

This feature was posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 and is filed under Research.