Commencement 2014 Honorees

April 10, 2014

On Friday, May 16, 2014, Wheelock College will recognize three honorary degree recipients, talented leaders who embody the spirit of the undergraduate and graduate Commencement theme of "Innovation. Access. Opportunity." Through their tireless dedication to increasing access to quality healthcare and education, they have improved the lives of innumerable children and families throughout the world. Receiving honorary degrees will be: Howard K. Koh, David C. Banks, and Mary Tiseo.

"We are thrilled to be honoring three exceptional leaders who share an unwavering commitment to our mission of improving the lives of children and families," said Wheelock President Jackie Jenkins-Scott. "Our Commencement theme truly reflects the life work of our three honorees."

Howard KohHoward K. Koh

Undergraduate commencement speaker Dr. Howard K. Koh serves as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Koh is dedicated to the mission of creating better public health systems for prevention and care so that all people can reach their highest attainable standard of health. Dr. Koh has close ties to Boston having served as Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1997-2003) and his son, Daniel Arrigg Koh, serves as Chief of Staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

As Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Koh oversees 12 public health offices, and implements an array of interdisciplinary programs relating to disease prevention, health promotion, the reduction of health disparities, women's and minority health, adolescent health, HIV/AIDS, chronic infections diseases, and health fitness and promotion.

David BanksDavid C. Banks

Graduate commencement speaker David C. Banks is the President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation. He was the founding principal of the Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City. Since opening in 2004, the Eagle Academy family has grown to include a total of three schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, and is expanding its vision to Newark and other cities in the United States.

Eagle Academy is based on the belief that a nurturing institution which believes that excellence, both in character and scholarship, opens doors and provides a bridge to equality. Since its inception, Eagle Academy has graduated young men who are making a difference in their communities and in the nation.

Mary TiseoMary Tiseo

An honorary degree will also be awarded to Mary Tiseo, Executive Director of South Africa Partners, a nonprofit organization facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. and South Africa in the areas of health and education.

Working with community organizations, academic institutions, and state and local government, SA Partners brings together practitioners from both countries who are committed to addressing social, political, and economic needs in a manner that strengthens communities, builds institutional capacity, and fosters local leadership.

Wheelock will host two commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 16, 2014. The morning ceremony, featuring a keynote speech from Howard K. Koh, will celebrate undergraduate seniors at Temple Israel (477 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA) at 10am. The afternoon ceremony, featuring a keynote speech from David C. Banks, will honor graduate level students at the Wheelock Family Theatre (180 The Riverway, Boston, MA) at 3pm. For more information visit:

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