Dr. Paul Farmer to Speak at Commencement
March 01, 2010
Emmanuel College is pleased to announce that Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D. will deliver the Commencement Address to the Class of 2010 on Saturday, May 8th. Dr. Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, is a founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and conducts research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer's work has received significant attention in recent weeks as PIH has taken a leading role in providing medical care to victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to Boston real estate developer and community leader Joseph Corcoran, founder and pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond, attorney and advocate for issues impacting women, children and families Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and Maureen '56 and Frank Wilkens, who have made an indelible impression on Emmanuel through their commitment and generosity to the College.
Dr. Farmer and his colleagues in the U.S. and in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho and Malawi have pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that successfully show that high-quality health care can be delivered in resource-poor settings. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. His most recent book is Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Dr. Farmer himself was the subject of Tracy Kidder's 2003 New York Times bestselling novel Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.
Dr. Farmer currently serves as the Presley Professor of Social Medicine and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and was recently appointed the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Dr. Farmer is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award from the American Medical Association, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Farmer earned his Bachelor's degree in anthropology from Duke University, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Harvard University. Dr. Farmer received an honorary degree from Emmanuel College in 2005 and delivered the Convocation Address.
Each year Emmanuel awards honorary degrees to individuals who exemplify the College's mission through their professional achievements and personal contributions to society. The College is pleased to award honorary degrees during this year's Commencement Exercises to Joseph Corcoran, Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond, Victoria Reggie Kennedy and Maureen '56 and Frank Wilkens.
Joseph Corcoran is a long-time friend to Emmanuel and is widely recognized in the Boston community as a leader in real estate development. In 1971 Mr. Corcoran started the Corcoran Jennison Companies, an integrated group of real estate operating companies, and has served since then as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership the company pioneered the concept of mixed-income housing. Mr. Corcoran also founded The American City Coalition, a nonprofit organization that plans and implements the revitalization of urban neighborhoods. Mr. Corcoran and his brothers established the Corcoran Scholars Fund at Emmanuel College in 2003 in honor of their sister, Sister Catherine Theresa Corcoran, SC, Class of 1950. He is a graduate of Boston College.
Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond, the founder and pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, has a long history of involvement with youth and community activities. He is Chairman and Co-Founder of the Ten Point Coalition-an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders working to mobilize the greater Boston community around issues affecting high-risk youth. Pastor Hammond is also a trustee of the Yawkey Foundation, Catholic Charities of Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, among other organizations. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Pastor Hammond practiced medicine before devoting himself to ministry, receiving his MA in religion concentrating on Christian and medical ethics from Harvard University.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy is hailed by many for her contributions to public service, particularly her advocacy efforts on issues affecting women, children and families, such as homelessness, economic opportunity, health care, education, domestic violence, and involvement in the political process. A lawyer in the private sector for many years, she later served as founding President of Common Sense about Kids and Guns, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to reduce gun deaths and injuries to children. Mrs. Kennedy is the co-founder and a trustee of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. She serves on the Boards of Catholic Democrats of Massachusetts and the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. She graduated magna cum laude from Newcomb College and received her JD, summa cum laude, from Tulane Law School.
Maureen '56 and Frank Wilkens have made an indelible impression on Emmanuel through their commitment and generosity to the College. They have actively supported Emmanuel's students through an endowed scholarship fund established in 1997 as well as contributions for the Jean Yawkey Student Center. This past year, the Wilkens' exceptional commitment to the College was exemplified in their support for the College's new Academic Science Center, which was dedicated in September 2009 and named in their honor. They believe in Emmanuel's mission to provide students with outstanding opportunities in a dynamic learning environment. Through the powerful example of their philanthropic giving, the Wilkens have created a lasting legacy at the College. Maureen is a 1956 graduate of Emmanuel and Frank graduated from the University of Wisconsin before earning his MBA from Harvard University.
In addition, as the College prepares to conclude its celebration of our 90th Anniversary year, there will be a special recognition of the initiative "90K... It's All About Time." This program was created and launched by the Alumni Association to celebrate Emmanuel's 90th anniversary and to engage members of the extended Emmanuel community in volunteering with the goal of accumulating 90,000 volunteer hours. In the end, close to 800 alumni across the globe completed more than 137,000 hours of community service -- demonstrating the difference our graduates make in their communities after they depart from Emmanuel. With gratitude for the contributions of our alumni, the College will present an Honorary Citation to Jennifer Puccetti '89, Chair of the 90K initiative.
To learn more about Dr. Farmer's work with Partners in Health in Haiti, visit the following link for a May 2008 feature story from the CBS television program "60 Minutes:" Click here to view video»
Partners in Health was also featured in a front page story in The Boston Globe on Sunday, January 24, 2010, detailing its critical role in responding to the needs of Haiti's residents following the recent earthquake: Click here to read article»