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Duquesne University Awarding Two Honorary Degrees at Commencement

Duquesne University will confer honorary degrees upon two noteworthy figures at the Spring 2011 Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 6, at 5 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Dr. Lee Shulman, president emeritus of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, will each receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Duquesne.

Hackett, who will deliver the commencement address, is recognized for his Catholic humanitarian work as the head of CRS. Serving in that role since 1993, he oversees nearly 5,000 employees in operations in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe, the organization reaches more than 100 million people on five continents. Today, CRS assists the impoverished and disadvantaged overseas, “working in the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person.”

After graduating from Boston College in 1968, Hackett served in the Peace Corps, primarily in Ghana. He joined Catholic Relief Services in 1972 and started his career in Sierra Leone. He went on to serve in positions throughout Africa and Asia, and at CRS headquarters. As regional director for Africa, Hackett guided CRS in its response to the Ethiopian famine in 1984-85. He also supervised operations in East Africa during the Somalian crisis in the early 1990s.

Under Hackett’s leadership, CRS has:

  • worked to engage the Catholic community in the U.S. in its work throughout the world
  • established its U.S. Operations division in 2002 with a mission to foster global solidarity among Catholics in America
  • appointed the first lay members of the CRS board of directors.

Hackett has served as the North American president of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of humanitarian agencies of the global Catholic Church, and is a member of various boards, including the International Policy Committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Shulman, in addition to receiving an honorary degree, will deliver the keynote address at the School of Education’s diploma ceremony on Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Shulman became president emeritus of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching after serving the organization for 11 years as its eighth president. The foundation, which was started by Andrew Carnegie in 1905, is an independent policy and research center that supports needed change in American education.

Known for his contributions to the study of teacher education, assessment of teaching and to education in the fields of medicine, science and mathematics, Shulman is an educational psychologist by trade. During his tenure as a professor at Michigan State University from 1963-82, he co-authored studies of medical reasoning recognized as the most thorough investigations of the cognitive processes of medical problem solving of that time.

At Stanford University, Shulman was named the first Charles Ducommun Professor of Education because of his innovative research there, which included creating the conceptual foundations of “pedagogical content knowledge,” the term that launched a new stage of research in teaching and teacher education. With his colleagues, Shulman conducted technical studies and field tests that supported the development of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Shulman has served in leadership roles, including president of the National Academy of Education and the American Educational Research Association. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Grawemeyer Award in Education and the Teachers College Medal.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.