Chatham News

2016 Chatham Commencement Details and Speakers

PITTSBURGH:  Chatham University’s 2016 Spring Commencement ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students will be held on Monday, May 16th, at 10:00 am at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland. The event will also be streamed live for friends and family who cannot attend in person. More information is available on Chatham’s event website.

Speakers and honorary degree recipients at this year’s Commencement include: Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington DC and Chatham University Class of 1994 alumna; Elizabeth McCormack, Philanthropic Advisor to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Patricia McGuire, President of Trinity Washington University.

About Muriel Bowser
Muriel Bowser was sworn in on January 2, 2015 as the seventh elected mayor of Washington, DC. As mayor she has pledged to bring a fresh start to the District of Columbia, create pathways to the middle class for residents, and foster a culture of inclusion, transparency and action.

As Mayor, Bowser has expanded opportunity across all 8 Wards of DC by strengthening job training programs, and by attracting and retaining jobs in the District.  Committed to producing, protecting and preserving affordable housing, she devoted a historic $100 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund. She has also made historic investments in education to accelerate the pace of education reform; helping to make DC one of the fastest improving urban school district in the nation.

Prior to her time as Mayor, Bowser served as the Ward 4 councilmember of the DC Council – first elected in a special election in 2007, and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. As a Councilmember, Bowser served as the Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Development which created more than 5,000 units of affordable housing, passed legislation to build a new soccer stadium and secured from the federal government the best portion of the Walter Reed campus for DC. Bowser led her colleagues to pass comprehensive ethics reform and increased transparency in government contracting.

A native Washingtonian, Bowser earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Chatham University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from American University.

About Elizabeth McCormack
Elizabeth McCormack earned her B.A. at Manhattanville College and a Ph.D in philosophy at Fordham.  In her senior year at Manhattanville, Elizabeth joined the Order of the Sacred Heart and soon began teaching at its schools, Kenwood in Albany and later in Greenwich.  In 1962, she became Dean at Manhattanville.  Appointed President in 1966, she led its transformation from an elite Catholic women’s institution into a non-denominational co-ed college.  After Manhattanville, she became Director of the Rockefeller Philanthropy offices and remains a philanthropic advisor to members of the family.

Ms. McCormack has had an extremely active civic life.  She chaired the Asian Cultural Council for 20 years; was vice chair of the MacArthur Board; a key member of the Board of the Atlantic Philanthropies; a member of the  boards of Manhattanville, Spellman, Marlboro and Hamilton Colleges, as well as the Juilliard School.  She has also been on the boards of the Population Council, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and recently she started the Partnership for Palliative Care, which is her current major interest.

Bill Moyers described her life beautifully when he said, Elizabeth McCormack “reminds us of the things that last, that transcend the tumult of the hour and the news of the day.  Her life is about connections and continuities between past and present, between now and future, between the natural world and the world we make together.”

She holds honorary degrees from American University of Paris, Brandeis University, Cambridge College, The City University of New York, Hamilton College, Manhattanville College, Marlboro College, and Princeton University.

About Patricia McGuire
Patricia McGuire has been president of Trinity Washington University since 1989.  Founded in 1897 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as one of the first Catholic colleges for women in the United States, Trinity has remained faithful to its founding vision as an institution with a primary mission to ensure access to a high quality education for women who might otherwise be excluded.

Prior to Trinity, McGuire was the assistant dean for development and external affairs at Georgetown University Law Center where she was also an adjunct professor of law.  She began her career after law school as the project director for the Street Law clinical program at Georgetown.

President McGuire serves on a number of boards including the Consortium of Universities, Cafritz Foundation, College Success Foundation – DC, United Educators and the Ameritas Holding Company.  Her prior board service includes the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Meyer Foundation, the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, and numerous other organizations.

In 2015 President McGuire received the Carnegie Award for Academic Leadership from the Carnegie Corporation.  In 2012 she received the Henry Paley Award from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

She holds honorary degrees from several universities including Georgetown, Howard, Liverpool Hope, the College of New Rochelle and others.  She has received recognition in the Washington Post,Washingtonian magazine, Washington Business Journal and other media outlets.  In 2007 she was named “Leader of the Years” by the Greater Washington Board of Trade.  She earned her law degree at Georgetown and her baccalaureate degree cum laude at Trinity.