News Story

March 16, 2016

La Roche College Announces Mark K. Shriver as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Mark A ShriverPITTSBURGH, March 16, 2016 – Mark K. Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and deliver the commencement address at La Roche University’s 51st commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Kerr Fitness & Sports Center.

As president of Save the Children Action Network, Mr. Shriver leads an effort to mobilize Americans to make children at home and abroad a national priority. He joined Save the Children in 2003 as vice president for U.S. programs and created the agency’s early childhood development, literacy and health programs in the United States. Under his leadership, the programs expanded to 220 schools in 17 states, benefitting 165,000 children, including more than 400 children at four Head Start centers.

“Mark Shriver has distinguished himself as a committed public servant and an effective advocate for literacy, education and public health in the United States and around the world,” La Roche President Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., said. “We believe he is an inspiration to our graduates as they look forward to their futures in our ever-changing global society. It is fitting that we recognize his leadership and accomplishments by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.”

In 2005, Mr. Shriver created Save the Children’s domestic emergencies programs to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children before, during and after disaster strikes. He led a national coalition that convinced Congress to create the National Commission on Children and Disasters. He was elected chairperson by his fellow commissioners and served in that role for the life of the Commission (2008-2011).

Mr. Shriver was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1994 to 2002. He was the first chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and was appointed chair of the Children and Youth Subcommittee of Maryland's House Ways and Means Committee. He was repeatedly recognized as Outstanding Legislator of the Year by prominent advocacy and civic organizations.

From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Shriver led the creation of Qwest/LCI International’s first Local Service Division, including hiring a cross-functional staff and introducing LCI into the local service market.

In 1988, Mr. Shriver founded the innovative Choice Program, which serves delinquent and at-risk youth through intensive, community-based counseling. He subsequently created The Choice Jobs Program Inc., a private nonprofit organization that trains, places and supports former Choice clients in jobs, as well as The Choice Middle Schools Program, a model for keeping at-risk middle school children in school.

He received a Christopher Award in 2013 for his New York Times and Washington Post best-selling memoir, “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver” – founder of the Peace Corps and architect of President Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Mr. Shriver, a Catholic by faith, has authored a book about Pope Francis and his impact on the world, to be released later this year.

Mr. Shriver received his B.A. from The University of the Holy Cross in 1986 and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1993. He resides in Bethesda, Md. with his wife, Jeanne, and their three children, Molly, Tommy and Emma.

About La Roche University: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs and one doctorate program, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences, as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,500 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society. 

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