Breaking- April 25, 2013- Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will address graduates of Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts, at the school’s 137th annual Commencement Exercises on May 20. Boston College President Rev. William P. Leahy, SJ, will present Kenny with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony, where 4,400 Boston College students will receive their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
University Spokesman Jack Dunn said that Boston College was delighted to have the Prime Minister speak at its Commencement, given the school’s historic ties to Ireland and Northern Ireland. “Boston College was founded by a Jesuit from Ulster 150 years ago to serve the sons of Boston’s Irish immigrants. Given our connections to Ireland and Boston College’s reputation as America’s foremost university in the field of Irish Studies, we are pleased that the Taoiseach will join us for our Commencement and receive an honorary degree during our Sesquicentennial celebration,” said Dunn.
Boston College also announced earlier this month that former Irish President Mary McAleese has accepted an invitation to become its Burns Library Visiting Scholar, beginning this fall. As Burns Scholar, McAleese will present public lectures during the fall semester while pursuing research in the Burns Library Irish Book and Manuscript Collection. The Irish Collection of Burns Library, the largest and most comprehensive in the United States, includes materials from Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and Seamus Heaney.
The full news release from the university follows:
IRISH PRIME MINISTER ENDA KENNY TO OFFER COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS
Chestnut Hill, Mass (4-1-13)— Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who has a record of almost four decades in service to the public, will address this year’s graduates at the 137th annual Boston College Commencement Exercises on May 20.
University President William P. Leahy, SJ, will present Kenny with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony, which will be held at 10 a.m. in Alumni Stadium, rain or shine.
BC will also present honorary degrees to: James A. Woods, SJ, founding dean and namesake of the University’s Woods College for Advancing Studies; Wayne Budd, former US attorney and long-time BC trustee; Cornelia Kelley, headmaster emerita of Boston Latin School; and Mary Lou DeLong, who served in several key administrative roles at BC.
Following the main Commencement event, some 4,395 Boston College students will receive their undergraduate and graduate degrees at separate ceremonies held around campus.
Enda Kenny was elected as Taoiseach (prime minister) in March of 2011, almost nine years after being chosen as leader of Fine Gael, the largest political party in the Dáil Éireann (House of Deputies). Kenny has articulated a vision of Fine Gael as a party of the progressive center, focusing on the rights and responsibilities of all citizens, while also demonstrating his concern for social justice: Earlier this year, he delivered an emotional apology in the Dáil on behalf of the state to the Magdalene Laundry survivors.
Kenny’s ascension to prime minister was the latest achievement in a political career that has spanned nearly 40 years. As Minister for Tourism and Trade from 1994-97, Kenny was credited with overseeing an unprecedented growth in Ireland’s tourism business, and with helping strengthen its trade position internationally — thus playing a significant role in Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” era of economic growth.
A native of Islandeady in County Mayo and a former primary school teacher, Kenny was first elected to the Dáil in a by-election in the Mayo constituency in 1975 following the death of his father, Henry. He was a member of Mayo County Council from 1975-1995 until his appointment to the cabinet. Kenny also has served as minister for state in Education; Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; the Islands; Western Development; and Youth Affairs and Sport.
Married to Fionnuala O’Kelly, and father of Naoise, Ferdia and Aoibhinn, Kenny climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of three Mayo charities in 2003, and regularly undertakes charity cycles.
The legal career of Wayne A. Budd ’63 has run the gamut from corporate counsel to associate US attorney general, from business executive to Massachusetts’ chief federal prosecutor. Along the way, Budd has served as a mentor, advocate and advisor in support of education, civil rights, and the development of the next generation of business and civic leaders.
The son of a Springfield, Mass., police officer, Budd graduated cum laude from BC in 1963 with a degree in economics. He went on to earn his law degree from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit while working for Ford Motor Co. Budd’s ties to his alma mater have remained significant. From 1980 to 1997, Budd served as a trustee of Boston College and from 1973 to 1988 he was an adjunct faculty member at Boston College Law School. His family endowed the Budd Family Scholarship.
Currently senior counsel at the Boston law firm of Goodwin Procter, LLP, Budd has lent his expertise to federal and state agencies on sentencing guidelines, civil service regulation and public health. He is a board member for the New England Innocence Project and the pre-collegiate program Squash Busters Inc., and a former chairman and board member of The Partnership, a leadership development initiative for African-American men.
Budd will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Commencement.
Mary Lou DeLong is the retired vice president and University secretary of Boston College. During her tenure, she oversaw a variety of responsibilities, including chairing the University’s Sesquicentennial Steering Committee; providing oversight and coordination of Commencement exercises and activities; and serving as liaison for the Trustee Committee on Nominations and Governance, University honorary degree recipients and senior liaison to The Council for Women of Boston College.
From 1992 until 2004 DeLong served as vice president for University relations at BC, responsible for educational fundraising and alumni affairs. She oversaw the University’s $441 million “Ever to Excel” campaign and from 2002-2004 managed a two-fold expansion and re-engineering of the University’s Advancement division.
In addition, DeLong served Boston College as executive director of development, director of individual gifts, director of development programs, and assistant director of the Alumni Association, as well as five years as a University trustee. She also held senior positions at Harvard Medical School, Phillips Academy, and Stevens Institute of Technology. DeLong has been active with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education at both the national and district level, and was the recipient of the CASE District I Distinguished Service award.
At Commencement, DeLong will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Cornelia Kelley became the first female headmaster of Boston Latin School — the nation’s first public school — in 1998, and during her nine-year administration the school constructed a new wing for the visual and performing arts, a media center that is touted as the most advanced school library in the US, and a new dining hall. In addition, Boston Latin renovated existing facilities to incorporate technology into every classroom.
Kelley pioneered a five-year, $35 million capital campaign, Pons Privatus, a revolutionary concept for funding special programs and scholarships for graduating seniors at a public school. A model in the US, Boston Latin was recognized as a center of educational excellence by the governments of China, Iceland, Ghana and Turkey.
A lifelong resident of Boston and 1969 graduate of the Newton College of the Scared Heart, Kelley now serves as a member of the Commission on American and Independent Schools Abroad and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
The University will award Kelley an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Commencement.
Boston College’s longest-serving dean and namesake of the University’s Woods College of Advancing Studies, James A. Woods, SJ, stepped down in 2012 from that leadership post, which he held for 44 years. At that time, he was honored at a University “Celebration of Gratitude” for his dedication and commitment in service to others.
During his tenure, Fr. Woods oversaw comprehensive changes in the curricula at Boston College and designed and introduced a graduate degree program for part-time students. At his request, the name of the Evening College was changed in 1996 to the College of Advancing Studies to reflect its evolving mission. In May 2002, the school became the Woods College of Advancing Studies following a $5 million gift from Katharine B. and Robert M. Devlin, which symbolized their high regard for the University and the dedication of Fr. Woods, a mentor to two generations of the Devlin family.
A native of Dorchester’s Neponset neighborhood, Fr. Woods earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Boston College, followed by a bachelor of sacred theology degree from Weston College and a doctorate in education from Boston University.
He has said that the Woods College helps fulfill the University’s educational and service mission in the Boston area. He established numerous scholarship and endowment funds during his years as dean, and named them for his longest-serving faculty and staff.
At Commencement, he will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
For information on Commencement 2013, see www.bc.edu/ commencement.