Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to deliver
2006 Commencement Address
Released: April 3, 2006
MILWAUKEE – U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao will be the speaker for Marquette University’s 2006 commencement on Sunday, May 21.
As Secretary of Labor, Chao has focused the department’s efforts on the modern realities of workers’ lives, setting new worker protection records and reforming federally funded job training programs to focus on the needs of dislocated workers.
Secretary Chao’s record of leadership spans the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her government career includes serving as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. She was also director of the Peace Corps, establishing the first Peace Corps programs in the Baltic region and the republics that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. As president and chief executive officer of the United Way of America, Chao restored public trust and confidence in the nation’s largest institution of charitable giving after allegations of mismanagement and financial abuse.
“Secretary Chao’s career serves as a model for our graduates in terms of facing challenges, addressing societal needs and transforming the world in which we live,” Robert A. Wild, S.J., president of Marquette, said.
Secretary Chao, who arrived in the United States as a child of eight speaking no English, is the first Asian-American woman appointed to a President’s cabinet. When President George W. Bush nominated her in January 2001, he described her as an individual with “strong executive talent, compassion, and commitment to helping people build better lives.”
Secretary Chao received her M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and her undergraduate degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College. She is the recipient of 26 honorary doctoral degrees and will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at Marquette.
Three other individuals will also receive honorary degrees at the 2006 commencement:
Richard A. Burke is a 1956 graduate of Marquette’s College of Business Administration and earned his master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is chairman of Trek Bicycle Corp. in Waterloo, Wis. and of Roth Corp. in Denver, Colo., and vice chair of Quad/Graphics. He is a trustee emeritus at Marquette and serves on the boards of the Trinity Foundation, Urban Education Fellowship, Urban Ecology Center, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Main Street Industries. He is a past chairman of the Wisconsin Foundation of Independent Colleges and the Bicycle Industry Organization. Burke will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, is an internationally known author, lecturer and theologian. The author of 750 articles and 22 books on theological topics, Cardinal Dulles was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001. A Testimonial to Grace was an autobiographical account of his conversion to Catholicism in 1946 and his subsequent journey to the priesthood and theology. Cardinal Dulles is a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society. In addition to degrees from Harvard College and the Gregorian University in Rome, Cardinal Dulles holds 35 honorary doctorates and will receive an honorary doctor of religious studies degree at Marquette.
Eleonore A. Stump, Ph.D., Robert J. Henle, S.J., Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, is the president of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association and past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers and of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. She obtained her bachelor's degree from Grinnell College, her master's degrees from Harvard University and Cornell University, and her doctorate from Cornell University. The author of numerous articles and books, Stump’s research focuses on the Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, and Medieval Philosophy. She will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.
Date: Sunday, May 21
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: Bradley Center, 1001 N. 4th St.
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