Commencement 2013 Honorees

March 20, 2013

Wheelock College will award honorary degrees to three influential advocates during this year's special Commencement on May 17, 2013 celebrating the College's 125th Anniversary. The commencement theme, "Celebrating 125 Years of Commitment to Children and Families," truly reflects the life work of the three honorees who have demonstrated a commitment to Wheelock's mission of improving the lives of children and families. Receiving honorary degrees will be three leaders and advocates for the rights and education of children: Mark K. Shriver, Hubert E. Jones, and Thekla R. Shackelford.

Mark ShriverMark K. Shriver, a children's advocate focused on advancing the rights of every child in America to have a safe and vibrant childhood, will deliver the Undergraduate Commencement address on Friday morning, May 17, 2013. Shriver currently leads Save the Children's U.S. Programs, which works to ensure a fair start for all children in the United States and has spent his has career fighting for social justice in advocacy and service organizations, as well as serving as an elected office.

Shriver has been a national advocate on behalf of children's issues partnering with nationally recognized artist ambassadors for Save the Children's U.S. Programs including Jennifer Garner, Randy Jackson and Julianne Moore. He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1994 to 2002, serving as the first Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families. Shriver was appointed Chair of the Children and Youth Subcommittee of Maryland's House Ways and Means Committee and has been repeatedly recognized as Outstanding Legislator of the Year by prominent advocacy and civic organizations.

Hubert JonesHubert E. Jones, an advocate for the rights of children since 1957, will deliver the Graduate Commencement address on Friday afternoon, May 17, 2013. His impact on legislation and public policy, human service delivery, educational opportunity for all citizens in Massachusetts is unparalleled. In his role as a community leader and advocate, Jones founded, helped establish or led over thirty community-based organizations in the greater Boston area.

In 2002, after hearing the nationally renowned Chicago Children's Choir, Jones founded the Boston Children's Chorus with the twin goal of teaching self-esteem to children through music and the arts, and of bringing diverse children together from different neighborhood and ethnic groups. From 1977 to1993, Jones served as Professor and Dean of the Boston University School of Social Work where he oversaw the growth of the School to national prominence.

Thekla ShackelfordThekla R. Shackelford, Founder and Chairman of the I Know I Can Board of Directors and Educational Consultant will also be awarded an honorary degree at Wheelock's 2013 commencement ceremony. Shackelford is the Founder and Chairman of the I Know I Can Board of Directors and has been an educational consultant and leader since 1978. I Know I Can, a college access program in Columbus, Ohio, awards over $1 million annually for qualified graduates of Columbus City Schools to attend a college or university of their choosing.

Shackelford is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her outstanding commitment to educational access including the 1990 Point of Light Award from President George H.W. Bush. She currently serves on the Wheelock College Corporation and the Development Committee.

Commencement 2013 Ceremonies

Wheelock will host two commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 17, 2013. The morning ceremony, featuring a keynote speech from Mark K. Shriver, will celebrate undergraduate seniors in Temple Israel (477 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA) at 10am. The afternoon ceremony, featuring a keynote speech from Hubert Jones, will honor graduate level students in the Wheelock Family Theatre (180 The Riverway, Boston, MA) at 2pm .

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