Humanitarian Frances X. Hogan delivers keynote address to 715 graduates at Assumption College’s 97th Commencement
In her May 17, 2014, Commencement address to the 715 students graduating from Assumption College, attorney and humanitarian Frances X. Hogan spoke of the need for them to become courageous leaders in their community and to always act “in the service of the truth.
“You are graduating into a society which desperately needs citizens committed not only to living lives of personal virtue, but also to living lives of public virtue that will impact and improve the common good of all,” Hogan advised the graduates. “You must be men and women of courage and commitment, and your ability to ‘be not afraid’ is critically important and can be life-altering.”
Assumption College’s 97th Commencement ceremony was held on the campus’s H.L. Rocheleau Field, where 463 Bachelor of Arts degrees; 217 graduate studies degrees (Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration) and certificates; and 35 Continuing and Career Education degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and associates) were awarded. Thousands of students, their families and friends, trustees, and other special guests were on hand to experience the inspirational messages delivered by keynote speaker Hogan, Assumption College President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., and valedictorian Katie Leduc ’14 of Hudson, N.H.
“As you prepare to go forth from Assumption, where your education has fostered a nobility of character, a mind open to infinite beauty, and a heart that banishes selfishness, I congratulate you on all that you have accomplished,” President Cesareo said in his remarks, “and I challenge you to take what you have learned to lead a life beyond the self by contributing your time and talent in service to the community so as to create a better world for future generations.
“At some point during your journey of these past four years, within each of you a spark ignited a flame—a flame of duty, a flame of knowledge, and a flame of passion for your chosen field,” added President Cesareo. “Allow that flame to be the light that others follow, for others to emulate. Be the light in the darkness of the world.”
Hogan, a partner with the firm Lyne, Woodworth & Evarts LLP since 1976, has, as part of her profession, engaged with the city of Boston to help improve its neighborhoods by making sure large construction projects (such as the W Hotel, Westin Hotel and Liberty Wharf complex) provide jobs for low-income earners. In addition, as an attorney who practices real estate law, she has negotiated contracts for affordable housing projects in Boston and Worcester. Hogan represents institutions, individuals, non-profits and government entities in connection with a variety of matters involving the development, financing, leasing and construction of commercial projects and residential complexes. She is also a national leader in the pro-life movement.
Hogan serves as a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which was established by Pope John Paul II; and is co-founder and former president of Women Affirming Life, a national group of Catholic women who are committed to the pro-life movement through their professions, their families and community services. She sits on the board of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference and chairs its Pro-Life/Pro-Family Sub-Committee, and worked to defeat the 2012 ballot question on physician-assisted suicide. Hogan has also served on the boards of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, the Value of Life Committee, and Massachusetts Citizens for Life. In 2013, Boston Archbishop and Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley presented her with the People of Life Award.
In her remarks, Hogan told the students to take their seats at the table of public discourse and be heard.
“Do not just sit by and watch and let life pass you by,” she said. “Bring Assumption’s values to the marketplace of ideas and action; take an active role in the lives of your communities … Cultivate the—almost lost—art of listening to others with genuine interest and concern, and always speak with true respect for the other person. The tone you employ must reflect the content of the proud tradition of Assumption.”
Hogan received her undergraduate degree from Regis College and graduated with honors from Boston College Law School, where she served on the Board of Editors of the Boston College Law Review. She was also admitted to the Order of the Coif, an honorary society for law school graduates. A member of both the Massachusetts and federal bars, Hogan is also a member of the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts and of the Lyne, Woodworth & Evarts LLP Real Estate/Commercial Lending Law Group. She lives in Everett, Mass.
Also during the ceremony, honorary degrees were conferred upon Hogan as well as three other distinguished individuals: the Very Reverend Fr. Benoît Grière, A.A., superior general of the Augustinians of the Assumption; Janice “Jan” L. Fuller P’92, former member of the Assumption College Board of Trustees and retired vice president of finance at Refco Inc./IDG New England; her husband Mark W. Fuller P’92, vice president of Worcester-based Benefit Development Group and treasurer of the George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation; and Dr. Paul Carpentier, MD, CFCMC ’82, president of the Gardner, Mass.-based In His Image Family Medicine clinic, where patients receive care consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church for infertility and other gynecological needs.
In her valedictory address, Leduc, a psychology major, told her fellow graduates, “Our Assumption education has equipped us to assess the deeper meaning and the significance of our actions and experiences. It has challenged us to be better people, not just better students.
“Many of us have accomplished things that benefit or serve others, while simultaneously enriching ourselves, such as working for a political campaign, going on a SEND trip, and volunteering through the Reach Out Center,” she continued. “When you consider all that you have done—all that we have done as a class—it is astounding.”
In her introduction of Hogan, salutatorian Andrea Clapp ’14 a biotechnology and molecular biology major from Columbia, Conn., said that Hogan “exemplifies what it means to be an active citizen and committed woman of faith by participating in projects that benefit her local community … Her promotion of reasoned debate provides a model for others to participate in the process of advocating for and establishing public policies that reflect their values.”