2001 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients


BOSTON -- The Honorable Andrew H. Card, Jr., chief of staff to President George W. Bush, and Claire Shipman, senior national correspondent for ABC NewsÌ "Good Morning America," were the commencement speakers as Suffolk University awards 11 honorary degrees at its commencement exercises on Sunday, May 20 at the FleetCenter, Boston.

Card, who began his career in public service as a Massachusetts state representative in 1975 and went on to serve three presidents, was the speaker at the Suffolk University Law School commencement exercises which began at 10 a.m.. During the Reagan Administration, Card was deputy assistant to the president and director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Under former President George Bush, he was deputy chief of staff and U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He also has held private-sector positions in the automotive industry. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of laws.

Shipman, an award-winning journalist, delivered the commencement address to the graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Sawyer School of Management which began at 2:30 p.m. Shipman is the senior national correspondent for ABC News, "Good Morning America," reporting out of Washington, DC. She previously had been a White House correspondent, reporting on presidential policy and politics for "NBC Nightly News," the "Today Show" and MSNBC. Shipman also spent a decade at CNN. She was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

The law school conferred honorary degrees of doctor of laws on the following:

--Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Esq., is President BushÌs designee as assistant attorney general and chief of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Boyd is a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, a Boston law firm. He was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. AttorneyÌs Office in Boston for six years, where he was deeply involved in urban anti-violence issues. Boyd hails from Ipswich.

--The Honorable Linda Stewart Dalianis is associate justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. She also has served as chief justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court. Judge Dalianis was the first woman to hold a seat on either court. After receiving her juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School, she was a trial attorney with the firm of Hamblett & Kerrigan in Nashua, N.H., where she makes her home.

--The Honorable Richard E. Neal, U.S. representative from the Second District since 1988, has risen to a Congressional leadership position as at-large Democratic whip. He began his career in public service as an assistant to the mayor of Springfield in 1973, then was elected to the Springfield City Council. While a city councilor, he taught at the high school and college levels. Congressman Neal served as mayor of Springfield, his hometown, from 1984-1989.

--Evett L. Simmons, Esq., is president of the National Bar Association, a network of more than 20,000 African-American lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. Ms. Simmons is an equity partner in the law firm of Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Ruell, P.A., in Port St. Lucie, Fla. She also is president of Unity Property Development Corporation, Inc., a commercial real estate developer. Ms. Simmons is involved in professional associations and has been formally recognized many times as an outstanding community leader.

The College of Arts and Sciences and the Sawyer School of Management conferred honorary doctorate degrees on Shipman and the following:

--Jack Connors, Jr., is chairman and CEO of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc., a marketing communications firm headquartered in Boston. As a founding partner, Connors has seen his firm grow from a lean machine to an industry powerhouse representing some of the worldÌs most well-known brands, such as Fidelity Investments, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Dunkin Donuts. Mr. Connors, who lives in Brookline, also is actively involved in a number of business and community enterprises. He was awarded an honorary degree of commercial science.

--Terry J. Lundgren is president and chief merchandising officer for Federated Department Stores, Inc., the nation's leading department store retailer with brands such as BloomingdaleÌs and MacyÌs. Lundgren rose through the ranks after beginning his retailing career with FederatedÌs Bullock's division in 1975. He joined Neiman-Marcus and rose to the position of chairman/CEO before returning to Federated in 1994. Mr. Lundgren lives in the greater New York area. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of commercial science.

--Lawrence OÌDonnell, Jr., is a writer and producer for the award-winning TV drama "The West Wing" and a senior political analyst for MSNBC. His writing and news work draw upon his experience as an adviser to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and chief of staff to Senate committees. Before entering politics, OÌDonnell was a writer for a variety of publications and author of the book "Deadly Force," which was adapted as a television movie. He is a native of Boston who now lives in Los Angeles. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of commercial science.

--Lloyd Ross is former CEO and chairman of the Tuesday Morning Corporation, a discount retailer. Ross, who was born in Canada, was a jack-of-all trades even before he left high school after his junior year. By the time he was 20, he was married, with three children and holding three jobs simultaneously. While working for an investment banking group, Ross was given a one-year consulting assignment with a gift manufacturer in Dallas, Texas. He saw an opportunity to sell gift and room accessory closeouts in retail stores and seized it. Ross has used the fruits of his success to create parks and fund hospital projects in the United States and Canada. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of commercial science.

--Andre Sonko is the special consultant on higher education to the President of Senegal and former minister of education, Senegal. He has been involved in public service in the west African nation of Senegal since he was elected a municipal councilor in 1972. He has served as minister in various divisions of the Senegalese government, most recently as minister of education. Sonko also served as chairman of the UNESCO International Conference on Higher Education in 1998. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

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