Activist Carolyn Mugar to speak at Clark commencement, May 19

Clark University will hold its 109th Commencement on Sunday, May 19, on the Jefferson Academic Center Green, rain or shine. The procession from the Kneller Athletic Center begins at 1:15 p.m.; the ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m.

Carolyn Mugar Carolyn Mugar

The commencement speaker will be Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid, an organization that keeps family farmers on the land to guarantee an agricultural system that ensures farmers a fair living, strengthens our communities, protects our natural resources and delivers good food for all. Mugar also founded the Armenia Tree Project, which has been responsible for protecting the environment and investing in communities in Armenia. Since 1994, the Armenia Tree project has planted over 4 million trees and created hundreds of jobs.  Mugar was married to the late John T. O’Connor '78, who served as a trustee for Clark from 1997 to 2001.

Mugar will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on behalf of both of these organizations.

Clark will also confer honorary degrees upon the following individuals:

Sumner B. "Tony" Tilton, Jr. is an attorney at Fletcher Tilton P.C. and a life member of the Clark University Board of Trustees. Tilton has been a powerful force for Clark for many years and has helped guide Clark's relationship with the City of Worcester, now a national model of how a university and municipality can work together for mutual benefit. Tilton Hall is named in recognition of his generous support of Clark. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

S. Paul Reville is professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former Massachusetts Secretary of Education from 2008 to 2012. Described by Governor Deval Patrick as "the father of Massachusetts education reform," Reville has held numerous leadership positions in the education sector dedicated to the improvement of preK-12 public education. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Michel Sidibé is executive director of UNAIDS and a 25-year public service veteran. Sidibé is committed to transforming the Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS into a people-centered and results-oriented organization that will eliminate new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

For further information and updates about the ceremony and speakers, visit or call the Marketing and Communications Department at 508-793-7441.