• Ambassador Solomont & Justice Duffly to Speak to Graduates

5/18/2012

Alan D. Solomont, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, will speak to undergraduates, and the Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, who serves on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, will speak to Law School graduates as more than 2,400 students receive degrees at Suffolk University commencement exercises on May 19 and 20, 2012.

Duffly will speak at the Law School ceremonies, which will take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 20, 2012, at the Bank of America Pavilion at 290 Northern Ave. on Boston’s waterfront.

Solomont will speak at the undergraduate commencement, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2012, at the Bank of America Pavilion.

Graduate student commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 19, with Jeffrey Taylor, founder of Monster.com, speaking at the Sawyer Business School graduate commencement at 9:30 a.m. at the Westin Copley Place Hotel, and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, delivering the address at the College of Arts and Sciences graduate student commencement beginning at 1 p.m., also at the Westin Copley Place Hotel.

Honorary Degrees

The Law School will award the following honorary degrees:

  • Duffly, honorary Doctor of Laws
  • Sarah M. Buel, honorary Doctor of Laws

The College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer Business School will award the following honorary degrees:

  • Solomont, honorary Doctor of Public Administration
  • Frank, honorary Doctor of Public Service
  • Taylor, honorary Doctor of Commerce
  • Dr. Augustus A. White III, honorary Doctor of Science

Biographies of honorees

Sarah Buel is a clinical professor and director of the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. She is known as a leader in advocacy for battered women and children. Buel served six years as a prosecutor in Boston and Quincy, where she helped establish award-winning domestic violence and juvenile programs in the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. She went on to be a clinical professor at the Texas School of Law, where she founded and co-directed the institution’s Domestic Violence Clinic, co-founded the University of Texas Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and served as special counsel for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. Buel earned a J.D. at Harvard University and a B.A. from Harvard Extension School.

Fernande R.V. Duffly is an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who also has served on the Probate and Family Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court. As an attorney, she provided pro bono legal services to indigent clients through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Duffly is a member and past president of the National Association of Women Judges. She is a native of Indonesia who was honored with the Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and she has received the Probate Judge's Association Distinguished Service Award. The ABA Business Law Section honored Justice Duffly in 2011 for contributing to the advancement of other women in the legal profession. Duffly holds a B.A. from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She will speak at the Law School ceremonies, which will take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 20, 2012, at the Bank of America Pavilion at 290 Northern Ave. on Boston’s waterfront.

Barney Frank represents the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts and is the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. He helped pass the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law that modified the nation's financial regulatory system in the wake of the financial crisis. Frank began his career in the Massachusetts Legislature, where he served for eight years before winning a seat in the U.S. Congress in 1980. He is widely recognized for his work on national issues, yet Frank also has been attentive to his constituents, making gains for New Bedford fishermen, fighting to bring commuter rail to the Southcoast region, providing affordable rental housing, and supporting many local organizations and businesses.

Alan Solomont, ambassador of the United States to Spain and Andorra, has been an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political activist. He spent his professional career in the health- and elder-care arenas. He was chair of Solomont Bailis Ventures; co-founder of HouseWorks, a home care company for seniors; and founder and managing director of Angel Healthcare Investors. He served as chair of the bipartisan Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees all domestic service programs, including AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, VISTA and Senior Corps. Solomont has been a longtime leader in the Democratic Party, serving as national finance chair in 1997-1998. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Urban Studies from Tufts University and a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Solomont will speak at the undergraduate commencement, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2012, at the Bank of America Pavilion.

Jeff Taylor, as the founder of the Monster.com, changed the way employers and job seekers connect when his concept of a giant online job search board evolved into a globally recognized brand for careers. He later founded two sites for older adults: Eons.com which connects adults in an online community, and Tributes.com, a national website for obituary and service information. Taylor serves on the board of the Berklee College of Music and is a board member of Boston's Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theatre. He is on the board of Year Up, where he acts as a mentor for high school students who don’t plan to go to college. He also has worked for years in a jungle village in Guatemala, where he sponsored and built a road for the elementary school and a first-of-its-kind computer center. He also personally funds four teachers, in addition to operating expenses. He holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Dr. Augustus White, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, is a professor of orthopedic surgery and the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medical Education at Harvard Medical School. He founded the academic orthopedic program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and for 13 years served as chief of the orthopedic surgery department at Beth Israel Hospital. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star. He is a graduate of Brown University and earned his M.D. at Stanford University School of Medicine. He received a PhD in orthopedic biomechanics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and then worked as the first African American surgical resident at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. White is a noted author in his specialty. Among his many titles are Your Aching Back: A Doctor's Guide to Relief and Clinical Biometrics of the Spine, a standard reference book for orthopedists.

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See also

Text of commencement speeches

Commencement videos

Webcast archives

Flickr photo galleries

Class of 2012 Profiles

  • Undergraduate
  • Law School

    More commencement news

    Demakes family video on Huffington Post and Boston Globe coverage 

    Information about 2012 Commencement Weekend

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