Dear Campus Community:

Click here to view this letter in American Sign Language.

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Glenn Anderson, ’68, and Mr. James Maguire will serve as co-speakers for the 147th Commencement Ceremony on May 12, 2017. Both Anderson and Maguire will be awarded honorary degrees in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments. Anderson will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, and Maguire will receive the degree of Doctor of Business, honoris causa.

Throughout his career, Anderson attained an array of ground-breaking achievements that have benefited many people, deaf and hearing, as well as people with disabilities. Anderson also lays claim to several pioneering roles: the first African American alumnus of Gallaudet to earn a doctoral degree (New York University, 1982), the first African American deaf person to be appointed as a Gallaudet trustee (1989), and the first deaf person hired by Michigan Rehabilitation Services to work as a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor (1970).

His career has included working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in Detroit, coordinating a referral and counseling center in New York City, and helping to establish a continuing education program to benefit deaf adults interested in returning to school and completing their college degrees. During his tenure as a professor at the University of Arkansas, Anderson prepared undergraduate and graduate students for careers in diverse professional fields working with deaf people. He also published numerous articles in professional journals and books, including the book/DVD entitled, Still I Rise! The Enduring Legacy of Black Deaf Arkansans Before & After Integration (2006).

Anderson served on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2005, his last 11 years as chair. Anderson was appointed by President George W. Bush as a member of the National Council of Disability from 2002 to 2005. Anderson served on the Board of Directors for the National Black Deaf Advocates. Gallaudet named Anderson its February 2014 Visionary Leader as part of the University’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Maguire is chairman emeritus and founder of Philadelphia Insurance Companies which he organized as a specialty underwriter in 1960 and incorporated in 1962. His first specialty product was standard insurance for the deaf community. In 1980, Mr. Maguire formed a holding company, which was publicly traded under the name “Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp” The company was named as one of the Top Four Hundred Companies in America by Forbes Magazine in 2008, based on consistent earnings and growth.

In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Maguire created The Maguire Foundation, a non-profit organization, which supports civic and cultural institutions. The centerpiece is “The Maguire Scholars Program” which funds scholarship education to students of need for elementary schools, high schools and colleges/universities. There are currently 1500 scholarship students in 70 private schools, including at Gallaudet.

A $500,000 gift from The Maguire Foundation in 2015 established the Maguire Academy of Risk Management and Insurance at Gallaudet (RMI) which prepares students for careers in the financial services industry, including insurance companies, banks, securities firms, and pension funds. Maguire also serves as chairman of the advisory board for Gallaudet’s RMI program as well as chairman of the Board of Governors for the Academy of Risk Management and Insurance at Saint Joseph’s University.

Maguire is the author of a biography, entitled Just Show Up Every Day which chronicles the history of Philadelphia Insurance Companies, the Maguire family, and his personal struggle with dyslexia.

Also at Commencement, five retired professors will be awarded Professor Emeritus status. They are: Dr. Susan Anthony and Dr. Robert “Skip” Williams, Department of Psychology; Dr. David W. Pancost, Department of English; Mr. Marshall Wick, Department of Business; and Dr. Cristina Berdichevsky, Department of World Languages and Cultures (posthumously).

Upon receipt of the names of the student speakers from the committee, we will share that information with the campus community.

I look forward to this special event where we recognize the achievements of our students and continue the dignity and customs of this historic ceremony for our 2017 graduating class. You are cordially invited to attend this celebratory occasion.


Roberta J. Cordano


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