Higher education leader to speak at Clark Commencement on May 20

Clark University will hold its 108th Commencement on Sunday, May 20, on the Jefferson Academic Center Green, rain or shine. The procession from Kneller Athletic Center begins at 1:15 p.m. and the ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m.

The commencement speaker will be Carol Geary Schneider, the president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). AAC&U is the leading national organization devoted to advancing and strengthening undergraduate liberal education, with more than 1,250 member institutions, half public and half private, whose members are drawn from the entire higher education community. Under Schneider’s leadership, AAC&U has launched Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), a public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what really matters in a college education for the 21st century. Additionally, under her leadership, AAC&U has become widely recognized as both a voice and force for strengthening the quality of student learning in college for all students and especially those historically underserved in U.S. higher education. AAC&U is working with hundreds of colleges and universities and numerous state systems to expand the benefits of liberal education across the curriculum, through new integration between the core outlines of liberal education and student learning in their major fields. Schneider has published extensively on major topics of her educational work. She has taught at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago State University and Boston University. She also has received eight honorary degrees and is a 2011 recipient of the ACPA’s Contribution to Higher Education Award. Schneider will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the Clark Commencement ceremonies. Clark will confer two honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees to the following distinguished leaders:  

Ian Smillie was the founder of the Canadian NGO Inter Pares in 1975, and was executive director of CUSO from 1979 to 1983. He has worked on projects with the Humanitarianism and War Project at Tufts University (now the Feinstein International Center) since 1997 and was an adjunct professor at Tulane University. He has worked as a development consultant for many Canadian, American and European organizations. He is author of “Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade” (2010) and “Freedom from Want: The Remarkable Story of BRAC” (2009). Smillie is a leader in the campaign to end “blood diamonds.” He chairs the Diamond Development Initiative and he is a member of the Order of Canada.  

William S. Mosakowski founded Public Consulting Group (PCG) in 1986. He serves as president and CEO of this privately held consulting firm that serves state and local health and human services programs and employs  nearly 950 professionals in 35 offices around the United States,  Canada, and Poland.  Before starting PCG, Mosakowski served as assistant revenue director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, as manager of reimbursement for the Harvard Community Health Plan, and was a senior consultant with Touche Ross & Company. He is former chairman of the Clark University Board of Trustees. He and his wife Jane Mosakowski, both alumni of Clark, are the founding benefactors of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark.

Dr. Donald M. Berwick will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree during Commencement exercises. Berwick is clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy in the Department of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School and professor of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health.  He is also a pediatrician, adjunct staff in the Department of Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, and a consultant in pediatrics Massachusetts General Hospital. Berwick was co-founder and co-principal investigator for the National Demonstration Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care. Based on this work, Berwick left Harvard Community Health Plan and co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in the late 1980s, and he worked there for nearly 20 years. He is former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the appointment of President Barack Obama. For further information and updates about the ceremony and speakers, visit clarku.edu/commencement/ or call the Marketing and Communications Department at 508-793-7441.