Northeastern’s 2022 launch will reward trailblazers with honorary degrees – News @ Northeastern
Northeastern University will award transformative leaders with honorary degrees during Northeastern’s 2022 Launch Exercises at Fenway Park on May 13.
President Joseph E. Aoun will award honorary doctorates to the pioneering group of individuals, who have dedicated their careers to making a difference as entrepreneurs, businesses, higher education, and civic leaders.
The winners are Sandra L. Fenwick, former CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital; Donna Shalala, former congresswoman and US secretary of health and human services and president of two universities; Rev. Willie Bodrick, senior pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts; and Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Sandra L. Fenwick
Global Health Doctor
For more than 20 years in leadership positions at Boston Children’s Hospital, the nation’s leading pediatric hospital and research organization, Fenwick has worked tirelessly to advance the health and well-being of children in local communities, elevating standard of care worldwide. As CEO for the past eight years of her tenure, she helped transform clinical care, medical education and biomedical research, enabling innovation by a team of 20,000 people. Fenwick retired in March 2021.
Fenwick has skillfully navigated the changing landscape of healthcare in the United States to provide innovative, high-quality care while ensuring the hospital’s financial stability. Joining Boston Children’s in 1999 as senior vice president of business development strategy, she was promoted to chief operating officer the same year, then named president in 2008 and general manager in 2013. As CEO, it has a proven track record of providing the highest value care to children and their families, earning Boston Children’s number one among children’s hospitals in US News and World Report.
As CEO, Fenwick led the hospital’s work in developing breakthrough therapies and new approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood and adult illnesses. The hospital’s regional network has expanded to bring routine care closer to where patients live, while partnering with more than 60 community organizations to promote racial and health equity.
Previous senior positions from 1976 to 1998 at another Harvard Medical School affiliate, Beth Israel Hospital, honed Fenwick’s skills in operations, strategy, and business development. Ultimately, she became senior vice president of system development for Beth Israel’s parent company, CareGroup.
Today, Fenwick continues to be a strong advocate for investing in the health and future of children. She is a board member of the Children’s Hospital Association and chairs its public policy committee. She sits on the boards of CRICO, Livongo Health, Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Jobs for Massachusetts, Massachusetts Digital Health Council, and Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum and Women Corporate Directors/Boston. In 2019, she was honored by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as a Distinguished Bostonian.
Doctor of humane letters and public service
Shalala has dedicated her life to ensuring that everyone in the United States has an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. As head of three distinguished universities and as Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton, she tirelessly advocated for better schools, civil rights, women’s rights, expanded access to health care. health and environmental sustainability, working at the intersection of education, research and social policy innovation.
The longest-serving secretary of health and human services in U.S. history — and the first Lebanese-American woman to hold that position — Shalala has spent eight years strengthening the nation’s health and research initiatives. She launched the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which now covers more than 7.6 million children. She doubled the budget of the National Institutes of Health, expanded AIDS research, and achieved the highest vaccination rates in American history.
In the field of higher education, Shalala has provided dynamic and decisive leadership. Appointed president of Hunter College in 1980, she oversaw a dramatic increase in the percentage of female and minority faculty and administrators. Appointed Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988, she stepped up recruitment of students and faculty from underrepresented minorities. As president of the University of Miami from 2001 to 2015, she raised billions of dollars for programs and scholarships while cementing that institution’s position as one of America’s top research universities.
In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Shalala the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, for his “leadership and determination to ensure that all Americans can live hopeful lives.” , promises and dignity”. That same year, the Council for Excellence in Government named her one of the greatest public servants of the past 25 years.
Reverend Willie Bodrick II
doctor in community service
Reverend Bodrick is the senior pastor of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston, a practicing lawyer, and a strong advocate for social and economic justice who leads with dynamic preaching, insightful teaching, and gospel-focused engagement in community and across the country.
Appointed senior pastor in 2021, Bodrick has successfully led the 182-year-old church through the profound challenges of the pandemic. He led a campaign that allowed the church to raise $250,000 for community relief while expanding its influence on issues such as affordable housing, improving public education and policing and l expanding access to health care.
Growing up in Atlanta, Bodrick was immersed in the history of the civil rights movement and the accomplishments of its leaders; primarily Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life and work continue to inspire him.
Bodrick first came to Boston in 2011 as a student at Harvard Divinity School. While still a student, he began working on city and state election campaigns. The intellect, energy, and commitment he displayed during these experiences as well as in his Harvard courses earned Bodrick the support and mentorship of key community leaders.
Bodrick would go on to serve the church in a wide range of roles, including youth and young adult minister, young adult and college minister, and eventually as associate pastor. He also attended and graduated from Northeastern University School of Law, earning his JD in 2020, and served as a senior adviser to U.S. Senator Edward Markey’s 2020 re-election campaign.
Among his many current community engagement positions, Bodrick serves on the Boston Bar Association’s Police Accountability Task Force, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Racial Justice and Equity Council, and the Advisory Board of the Roxbury YMCA. He is also a member of the Boston branch of the NAACP and the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.
Freeman Hrabowski III
Doctor of Human Letters
Hrabowski, who is retiring as president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County after three decades of high-level service, is one of the nation’s top higher education leaders and a champion for expanding opportunity. in STEM fields to black and brown students across the country.
In recognition of his strong sense of leadership, Hrabowski has received numerous accolades. TIME named him one of America’s Top 10 College Presidents in 2009 and one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012. In 2011, he received both the TIAA- CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Excellence in Leadership and the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, two of the premier national awards for leadership in higher education. More recently, the American Council on Education presented Hrabowski with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hrabowski’s academic research and publications have focused on science and math education, with a particular focus on minority participation and performance. He was chosen to chair the National Academies Committee that produced the acclaimed 2011 report, “Expanding Involvement of Underrepresented Minorities: America’s Science and Technology Talent at a Crossroads,” and was subsequently appointed by the President Barack Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Excellence in Education. for African Americans.
His commitment to these initiatives was based on his personal experience. During his formative years in Alabama, Hrabowski was drawn to the civil rights movement. At 12, he joined the 1963 Children’s Crusade March for Civil Rights and was swept away in a mass arrest led by Birmingham’s infamous Public Safety Commissioner, Theophilus “Bull” Connor.
Hrabowski joined UMBC in 1987, serving as vice provost and executive vice president before being named university president in 1992. Early in his tenure at the university, he partnered with the philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff for creating the Meyerhoff Scholars Program to advance minority achievement in STEM fields.
Northeastern recently announced that Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, will deliver the university’s launch speech. Leila Fadel, journalist and program host at NPR, will deliver the graduates’ kick-off speech. As part of the ceremony, President Aoun will present Amin J. Khoury, founder of multi-billion dollar company BE Aerospace, with the Presidential Medal, the university’s highest honor. Khoury is the name of Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern and an administrator of the university.
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