Victoria Reggie Kennedy to Deliver 2010 UMass Boston Commencement Address

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Victoria Reggie Kennedy to Deliver 2010 UMass Boston Commencement Address

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The university is so honored to have Victoria Reggie Kennedy as principal speaker. She has done so much work in ensuring her husband’s legacy of public service and education lives on through the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Chancellor J. Keith Motley today announced that Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late U. S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy and long-time advocate for women, children and families, will deliver the principal address at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s 42nd commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 4, 2010.

Mrs. Kennedy is a cofounder and trustee of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, which is expected to break ground this fall on the UMass Boston campus with the goal of improving civic education and inspiring a new generation of active citizens and legislators.

She will be joined by honorary degree recipients George A. Russell Jr., executive vice president and director of community affairs for State Street Corporation, and Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist leader and founder of the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue.

“The university is so honored to have Victoria Reggie Kennedy as our principal commencement speaker. She has done so much work in ensuring her husband’s legacy of public service and education lives on through the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate,” Chancellor Motley said. “We are also pleased to honor George A. Russell Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda for their leadership and dedication to service.”

Mrs. Kennedy, a leading expert on banking law, will be presented with a doctor of laws degree, honoris causa, for her leadership and continued service to the community. She serves as president and cofounder of Common Sense about Kids and Guns, a nonprofit organization created to raise awareness about children and gun safety. She has also worked with numerous organizations in Massachusetts and in Washington, DC, tackling family-related issues such as homelessness, health care, education, and domestic violence.

George A. Russell Jr. will be presented with a doctor of laws degree, honoris causa, for his philanthropic work over his past 30 years in the banking and finance field. As executive vice president and director of community affairs for State Street Corporation, Mr. Russell has served as chairman of the board and president of the State Street Foundation and is responsible for the corporation’s philanthropic and community support programs globally. He currently serves on the board of directors of One United Bank, which is the second-largest African American owned and operated commercial bank in the United States, and Tufts Health Plan Foundation, and he is on the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Math & Science Initiative.

Daisaku Ikeda will receive a doctor of humane letters degree, honoris causa, for his work as a Buddhist leader, peace builder, and founder of the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue in Cambridge. Mr. Ikeda is also a prolific writer and poet, educator, and proponent and practitioner of wide-ranging dialogue. His dialogue partners have included Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks. He has founded a number of cultural, educational, and peace research institutions around the world, including Soka Gakkai International, developing and inspiring what may be the largest and most diverse international lay Buddhist association in the world today.

About the University of Massachusetts Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s seven colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 15,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit http://www.umb.edu.

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