Wheelock College 2013 Commencement Honorees

Wheelock College's 2013 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 were 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 leads Save the Children's U.S. Programs, which work to ensure a fair start for all children in the United States, including the nearly one in four living in poverty. His career fighting for social justice in advocacy and service organizations, as well as in elected office, has focused on advancing the right of every child in America to have a safe and vibrant childhood.

Mr. Shriver developed Save the Children's early childhood development, literacy, and health programs in the United States. Through partnerships with nearly 200 schools in some of the most impoverished regions of the country, the programs benefit more than 70,000 children.

Formerly a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Mr. Shriver was repeatedly recognized as Outstanding Legislator of the Year by prominent advocacy and civic organizations. He also founded the innovative Choice Program, which serves delinquent and at-risk youth through intensive, community-based counseling; The Choice Jobs Program, Inc., a private nonprofit that trains, places, and supports former Choice clients in jobs; and The Choice Middle Schools Program, a model for keeping at-risk middle school children in school.

Mr. Shriver has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the FEMA National Advisory Council, the Living Proof Project, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. 

Mr. Shriver received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross in 1986 and a master's in public administration from Harvard University in 1993. He has written a memoir titled A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver, which was published in June 2012 by Henry Holt.


Hubert JonesHubert E. Jones is a vital member of Boston's social justice movement. He has held numerous positions in academia, served on multiple boards, and played a leadership role in the social development of the city of Boston and its people. Professor Jones is Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work, where he previously served as Professor and Dean. He was formerly Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Urban Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Acting President of Roxbury Community College, and Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Professor Jones has played a key role in the formation, rebuilding, and leadership of at least 30 community organizations within the black community and across Boston. He served as Chair of the Board or Executive Director in 20 of these organizations, including the Roxbury Multi-Service Center, the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Roxbury Youthworks, Roxbury Community College Foundation, and the Citywide Educational Coalition. He founded HigherGround, Inc., modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone. Since 2002, he has been founder and president of the Boston Children's Chorus. He is a longtime trustee at both the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Foley Hoag Foundation.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York and a master's degree in social work from Boston University School of Social Work. Professor Jones has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Northeastern University, University of Maryland, Lesley University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. 


Thekla ShackelfordEducation and access to equal opportunity in education have been Thekla R. Shackelford's major focus since graduation from college. She has been an educational consultant since 1978 and is the founder of I Know I Can (IKIC), a college access program in Columbus, Ohio.

Ms. Shackelford is also chair of the Board of Directors of IKIC, which currently awards well over $1 million a year for qualified graduates of Columbus City Schools to attend colleges or universities of their choosing. She has made many major presentations on IKIC and is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership of the organization, including the Daily Point of Light Award from President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

She has a bachelor's degree in physical education from Denison University and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from The Ohio State University. She attended Wheelock College for one year, 1952 to 1953.

Ms. Shackelford currently serves on the Wheelock College Corporation and is a member of the Development and ad hoc Innovation Committees of the Wheelock College Board of Trustees. She is a former member of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees, former Chair of the Board of The Ohio State University Foundation, and past Chair of The Columbus Foundation Governing Committee. She also has served on the boards of Bank One, Wendy's International, H&R Block, and Fiserv. For more than 30 years, she has owned and operated an educational placement service for students entering boarding school or college.

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