Governor Dannel Malloy, the first term governor of Connecticut, will be the featured speaker at Nichols College’s annual commencement on Saturday, May 11th. He will also receive an honorary doctoral degree in Public Administration.
Nichols will also confer an honorary doctorate in Business Administration to Mary DeFeudis, who previously served on the Nichols Board of Trustees and has long distinguished herself as a philanthropist in the Worcester area.
An active and enthusiastic investor and volunteer, DeFeudis has focused her philanthropic and volunteer interests in areas that benefit children, cancer research, and bettering the Central Massachusetts community. At Nichols, she established a scholarship for deserving students that bears her name.
Governor Malloy, who graduated magna cum laude from Boston College and Boston College Law School, was elected governor of Connecticut in 2010. Before running for that post, he had served the previous 14 years as the longest-serving mayor in the history of his hometown Stamford, Connecticut.
During Malloy’s tenure, he helped transform Stamford to make it one of the 10 most livable cities in the country, according to Forbes magazine. Among his accomplishments were bringing almost 5,000 jobs to the city; leading initiatives for more affordable housing and improved public transportation; implementing a city-wide pre-kindergarten program; and presiding over a 60% reduction in the crime rate.
The latter statistic extended Malloy’s crime-fighting credentials, which he established as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, New York. In that capacity, he won 22 of 23 felony cases, including four homicides.
As the mayor of Stamford, Malloy garnered national recognition as a trustee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as well as serving as president of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Despite moving to the governor’s residence in Hartford, Malloy has stayed involved with the Stamford community through several charities and outreach organizations.
Throughout his career, Malloy has spoken openly about his lifelong dyslexia, which affected his reading and writing and which posed a formidable challenge that he had to overcome in college and graduate school. He has long advocated early intervention for elementary school students with the same learning disability and has visited schools to tell his story and encourage youngsters to overcome their own obstacles.
Malloy’s presence at the Nichols commencement in May follows the respective appearances over the past three years of then-U.S. Senator Scott Brown; Keith Anderson ’81, the chairman and chief investment officer at Anderson Global Macro; and nationally known Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy.
This year’s graduation ceremonies will begin at 10:30 am