Suffolk University will feature Gov. Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy, American Bar Association President-Elect Paulette Brown, Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory, and Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar as speakers during the 2015 commencment ceremonies over the May 16-17 weekend.

Suffolk will award degrees to 1,353 undergraduates, 585 graduate students from the College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School, and 434 Law School candidates, 14 of whom will receive LLM degrees.

“We look forward to welcoming this extraordinary group of distinguished leaders to our commencement celebrations this May,” said Andrew C. Meyer Jr., chair of Suffolk University’s board of trustees. “Their dedication to public service, scholarship, civic engagement and business leadership will serve as great examples to our graduating students.”

"Our 2015 honorees are, to a person, exemplary role models for our graduates," said President Norman Smith. "It is our privilege to showcase and salute their life achievements and provide an inspiration for our graduates to emulate."

Brown and Cordy will speak at the Law School commencement ceremonies, to be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Hynes Convention Center. Both will be honored with honorary doctor of laws degrees.

Brown is a labor and employment law partner and chief diversity officer with the Morristown, N.J., office of Locke Lord Edwards. Her service with the ABA includes chairing the Board of Governors Program Planning and Evaluation Committee. Brown has served on the Commission on Women in the Profession, was a co-author of "Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms,” and chaired the ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice.

Cordy has served both in public service and private practice. He was a deputy commissioner of the Department of Revenue, associate general counsel in charge of enforcement at the State Ethics Commission, chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Public Corruption Unit in Boston, and chief legal counsel to Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld.

Baker and Mugar will address College of Arts & Sciences graduates at 2:30 p.m. ceremonies at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Each will be awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree.

Baker was sworn in as governor this past January. He has a history of public service dating back to the 1990s, during which he served in the Weld and Cellucci administrations, first as secretary of Health and Human Services and then as secretary of Administration and Finance. Later he led Harvard Pilgrim Health Care out of receivership as its chief executive officer.


Mugar, who joined Farm Aid after its first concert fund-raiser in support of family farmers in1985, has long been an activist engaged with issues that include labor, the environment, literacy, toxics, and community empowerment. She also initiated a reforestation project in Armenia.

Brian McGroryMcGrory will be the Sawyer Business School speaker at exercises beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 17, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. He has worked at the Globe for more than 25 years, serving as Metro editor and columnist, White House correspondent, associate editor, and national reporter. Under his leadership, The Boston Globe was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the breaking-news category 2014 for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. He will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.

Honorary Degrees

The University also will confer honorary degrees on the following:

  • U.S. Rep. William R. Keating, who serves the Massachusetts 9th District in Congress, honorary doctor of laws degree, Law School ceremonies
  • John F. Barros, chief of economic development for the City of Boston, honorary doctor of commerce degree, Sawyer Business School ceremonies
  • Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, honorary doctor of Commerce degree, Sawyer Business School ceremonies
  • Anthony Pangaro, principal of Millennium Partners–Boston, honorary doctor of Commerce degree, Sawyer Business School ceremonies
  • Robert Brustein, Suffolk University distinguished scholar in residence and director, playwright, actor, author, and teacher, honorary doctor of humane letters, College of Arts & Sciences ceremonies
  • The Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, physician at the South End Community Health Center, co-pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church, and human rights activist working to free slaves and support them in creating new lives, honorary doctor of humane letters, College of Arts & Sciences ceremonies