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A Diverse Group of Honorary Degree Recipients
A hospital CEO, a popular author of historical novels, the head of a major cruise line, a prolific composer, and an award-winning children's book author and photographic illustrator will be awarded honorary degrees during the University of Hartford's Commencement Weekend, May 18 and 19.
Christopher M. Dadlez, president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, will deliver the Commencement Address at the graduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, and Bernard Cornwell, a British author of historical novels that have been adapted into popular television films, will be the keynote speaker at the undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19.
This will be the second year that the University holds separate graduate and undergraduate Commencement ceremonies. Both ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. on the University Green. For complete information about Commencement Weekend, visit www.hartford.edu/commencement.
During Saturday's graduate Commencement ceremony, an honorary degree will be presented to Dadlez. During the undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Sunday, honorary degrees will be presented to Cornwell and to Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; John Corigliano, prolific composer and professor of music at Lehman College of the City University of New York; and Walter Wick, award-winning children’s book author and photographic illustrator.
About the Honorary Degree Recipients
Christopher Dadlez, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, became the head of Saint Francis, New England’s largest Catholic hospital, in 2004. He has led large healthcare organizations in five states, including serving as president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio, immediately prior to joining Saint Francis. Under his direction, Saint Francis recently launched the Center for Health Equity, an initiative dedicated to reducing healthcare disparities and enhancing cultural competencies among healthcare providers. On the national level, he holds leadership roles in the American Hospital Association, for which he serves on the Equity of Care Committee. In 2010, Saint Francis and the University of Hartford signed an affiliation agreement to launch academic partnership initiatives in healthcare, research, and education to benefit learners, researchers, practitioners, and ultimately patients and the community.
Bernard Cornwell, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters, has published 50 historical novels about the drama, perils, and triumphs of early European wars. His most popular works are 21 novels that tell the adventures of fictional British rifleman Richard Sharpe’s rise through the ranks of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. The series was adapted into a television show featuring actor Sean Bean. Cornwell has also written about the American Civil War, the Arthurian saga, and the Hundred Years War. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth dubbed Cornwell an officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature and television production.
Richard Fain, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science, has overseen the development and growth of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. for 25 years as chairman and chief executive officer of the global cruise company, which owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisières de France, and the joint venture, TUI Cruises. Together, these six brands operate 41 ships around the world, comprise more than 60,000 shipboard and shoreside employees, and serve more than 5 million guests annually. Prior to joining Royal Caribbean, Fain spent 13 years at the London-based cargo-shipping company, Gotaas-Larsen Shipping Corp. Fain also is a University of Hartford parent; his son, Ben, graduated from the Hartford Art School in 2002.
John Corigliano, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Music, continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual, and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has produced over the past 40 years. His scores, numbering more than 100, have won a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award. His works—including three symphonies and eight concerti, among other chamber, choral, and orchestral works—have been performed and recorded by many of the world’s most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians. One of the few living composers to have a string quartet named for him, Corigliano serves on the composition faculty at the Juilliard School of Music and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York.
Walter Wick, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, is best known for his acclaimed search-and-find book series, I Spy and Can You See What I See?, which have entertained millions of children for the past two decades. A native of Hartford, Conn., Wick started his career working as a photographer for magazines that included Psychology Today, Discover, and Games. In 1985, one of his images—a shot of odds and ends—caught the eye of Jean Marzollo, the editor of Let’s Find Out, a magazine for kindergartners. Wick and Marzollo collaborated on the enormously successful I Spy picture books, and by 1999, Wick and Marzollo had produced eight original titles, generating sales in the millions. Wick’s solo book, Can You See What I See? Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list in 2002.