Assumption College Announces 2012 Honorary Degree Recipients

At its 95th Commencement exercises on May 12, 2012, Assumption College will confer honorary degrees upon four distinguished individuals: the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, bishop of Worcester; Maurice “Moe” Boisvert ’66, president of Youth Opportunities Upheld Inc. (YOU Inc.); Brian Kelly ’83; head football coach for the University of Notre Dame; and James Welu, director emeritus of Worcester Art Museum.

“Each year at Commencement, Assumption College recognizes extraordinary individuals who have contributed in significant ways to their fields, to society, as well as who embody the College’s mission and values as a Catholic and Assumptionist institution,” said Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo.

In addition to receiving an honorary degree, Kelly will deliver the Commencement address. A 1983 graduate of Assumption College, Kelly is a veteran of 21 seasons as a head football coach in the collegiate setting. He is heading into his third season as the head football coach at Notre Dame, the 29th in their storied history, and he has guided the Fighting Irish to 16 wins and two bowl games over the last two seasons. Kelly became the first Notre Dame head coach to win a bowl game in his first season with the Fighting Irish. Currently the fifth-winningest active coach in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), his 110 victories as head coach since 2001 are more than all but two active FBS head coaches – Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Mack Brown of Texas.

Honorary degrees will also be conferred upon Bishop McManus, Boisvert and Welu.

The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus was named the fifth bishop of Worcester in 2004 by Pope John Paul II. He chairs the Subcommittee on Health Care for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and is a member of the USCCB’s committees on doctrine and pro-life. After performing a year’s diaconal service at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in East Greenwich, Bishop McManus was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Providence in 1978. He pursued doctoral studies in Rome where he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 1986 he was named director of the diocesan Office of Ministerial Formation. Bishop McManus became diocesan Vicar for Education in 1987 while continuing as Director of the Office of Ministerial Formation. In 1990, he assumed the additional duty as theological consultant and editorial writer for The Providence Visitor newspaper. He was appointed a Prelate of Honor to His Holiness with the title of Monsignor in 1997. Bishop McManus was ordained as Titular Bishop of Allegheny and Auxiliary Bishop of Providence in 1999 and continued to serve as Secretary for Ministerial Formation and Rector of Our Lady of Providence Seminary.

Maurice "Moe" Boisvert ’66, L.I.C.S.W., president and CEO of YOU, Inc. was the first employee hired by the board of directors in 1971. For more than 40 years, he has provided the vision and leadership to meet the ever-changing needs of children and families. He supervises a staff of more than 600 people, serves as the liaison to the board of directors, leads the organization in the delivery of a range of therapeutic, educational and residential services in central Massachusetts and provides legislative advocacy on behalf of children and staff. In addition, Mr. Boisvert has overseen the development of innovative and cutting-edge programs. He has published numerous articles in a variety of professional journals and has presented at professional conferences, including the annual conference of the Child Welfare League of America. Boisvert is an adjunct professor at Assumption College and Clark University, and is teaching a course at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College.

Recently named director emeritus of the world-renowned Worcester Art Museum, James Welu joined the museum’s staff in 1974 as assistant curator and went on to serve six years as chief curator and 25 years as Director. A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, Mr. Welu has published and lectured widely and organized a variety of exhibitions. During his tenure as Director, Welu oversaw many changes to the museum, which opened in 1898, and personally organized exhibitions of artists such as Judith Leyster and added works by major masters including Andrea del Sarto and Frans Hals. In recent years, he improved the display of the museum’s permanent collection, which is one of the finest in the country. Welu served as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and chair of the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums. He has also served on the advisory council for the Princeton University Art Museum and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame, and is active in many Worcester community organizations.

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Lorraine U. Martinelle
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