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22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich or Jan Wenzel 401-874-2116

Seven honorary degrees to be awarded at
URI’s 117th Commencement

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 21, 2003 -- The University of Rhode Island will celebrate the achievements of its students, and salute the accomplishments of seven distinguished citizens at its 117th Commencement exercises on Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, 2003. The following individuals who have distinguished themselves for their contributions to the University, the State of Rhode Island, or the nation to be recognized are:

During the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 18, 2003: Lincoln C. Almond, of Lincoln, Doctor of Laws; Susan Anderson of Tiverton, Doctor of Humane Letters; Daniel E. Doyle, Jr. of West Hartford, Conn., Doctor of Humane Letters; Richard E. "Dick" Beaupre of Cumberland, Doctor of Arts; Caroline Tennant Kaull of Portsmouth, Doctor of Humane Letters.

During the Graduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 17, 2003: Peter F. Merenda of Warwick, Doctor of Humane Letters and Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Providence, Doctor of Humane Letters.

About the recipients:

Lincoln C. Almond

In 1994, Lincoln Almond was elected governor of the State of Rhode Island, making him the first governor of Rhode Island to serve a four-year term. He also honored his alma mater by being the first governor of the state to hail from the University of Rhode Island. In 1998, voters re-elected Gov. Almond to a second four-year term. Throughout his years as the state's highest official, Gov. Almond maintained a clear focus on economic development and expansion to help the state remain competitive and fuel job growth. At the same time, he provided strong initiative and leadership in efforts to raise the public and private funding needed to build the University's new Thomas M. Ryan Center. As University President Robert L. Carothers often describes him, Gov. Almond is "URI's #1 Alum."

The governor's years of public service long precede his election as Rhode Island's 56th governor. He served as U.S. Attorney for more than 20 years, having been appointed to that post first in 1969, then reappointed by President Reagan in 1981 and serving until 1993. Prior to his service as U.S. Attorney, Almond was appointed Town Administrator of Lincoln, R.I., in 1963 and elected to full terms in 1963, 1965 and 1967.

In recognition of his dedication to the people of the State of Rhode Island clearly demonstrated by his lifelong commitment to public service and his leadership, the University will honor Almond with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Susan E. Anderson

Susan Anderson is engineering new futures for thousands of children and young adults in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. An engineer by profession, Anderson is on a mission to improve science and math education for all children and specifically to encourage girls and young women to explore the world of science. While working full time as a senior development engineer at Raytheon Co. in Portsmouth for more than 20 years, Anderson pursued these efforts as a volunteer, dedicating countless hours of her time to serve the needs of young students.

In her endeavors with schools, teachers, and faculty at colleges and universities, Anderson developed and implemented hands-on experiential learning techniques in science, math and technology classes for elementary and middle school children and served as a mentor for elementary teachers. She also has worked with professional and community organizations to develop outreach activities to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math, or engineering.

In recognition of her tireless efforts to plant the seeds and encourage growth for the next generation of scientists, and her dedication to the improvement of education, the University will present Anderson with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the 2003 commencement ceremonies.

Richard E. Beaupre

Richard E. "Dick" Beaupre is the founder, president and CEO of the ChemArt Co., the world's leading manufacturer of photo-etched decorative brass collectibles. Located in Lincoln, R.I., the company is known especially for winning the rigorous White House ornament design and production competition for many years. A 1962 URI graduate with a degree in chemistry, Beaupre is a chemist, a patented inventor, and a successful business entrepreneur. While his creativity, dedication, and hard work have led to a distinguished career, Beaupre often cites his education as having played a tremendous role in his success.

Beaupre is active in the community and believes that we all have a responsibility to give back to our communities. In response to the challenges he faced while attending school and raising a family, he established the Beaupre Scholarship at the University of Rhode Island to assist married students with families who have decided to pursue an education in the chemistry field.

The University will award an honorary Doctor of Arts degree to recognize Beaupre's distinguished career and for his contributions of time, energy, and resources toward the betterment of the University and the State of Rhode Island.

Daniel E. Doyle, Jr.

Named by Sporting News as one of the most powerful international sports figures in its "Ten to Watch" list last year, Daniel E. Doyle, Jr. is the founder and executive director of the acclaimed Institute for International Sport. A non-profit organization founded in 1986 and based at the University of Rhode Island, the Institute is dedicated to improving international, domestic and interpersonal relations through cultural and athletic exchanges between young people.

The founding of the Institute was rooted in Doyle's overseas athletics experiences where he saw the power of sport as a medium to foster friendship and goodwill. Doyle turned this vision into a reality, first through a thesis while studying at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and later at the University of Rhode Island. On July 1, 1986 the Institute officially opened in a one-room office at the University, and the first of many future Scholar-Athlete Games were held the summer of 1993. Guided by international academic, business, government and athletic leaders, for more than 16 years the Institute has fostered thousands of global friendships through sport, culture and education.

In recognition of Doyle's vision and determination to create the Institute for International Sport as a vehicle for advancing international harmony, the University will present Doyle with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Caroline Tennant Kaull

Caroline Kaull has been a tireless champion for the University of Rhode Island. She has devoted herself to serving the University and the community for more than 20 years. She has served as vice president and as president of the URI Foundation and has been a member of the executive committee of the URI Foundation since 1987. Currently, she is the chair of the URI Foundation’s Nominating Committee and its Planning/Building Committee. She has also served as chair of the URI Foundation Ball Committee and the URI Foundation Competitive Grants Committee. Under her leadership, the URI Foundation has achieved a strong on-campus presence.

Beyond her extensive involvement with the URI Foundation, Ms. Kaull's remarkable commitment to the University is both long and diverse. She is a graduate of the University, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1966. She served as vice president of the Alumni Association from 1985-1986 and served as secretary in 1987. She served on the Green Hall Renovation Committee, Ryan Center Major Gifts Committee and the Grassroots Committee. Kaull has been honored twice by the URI Alumni Association, first with its Alumni Service Award in 1989 and with the RAM Award in 1993. She has made numerous contributions to support more than a dozen URI interests including scholarship funds, athletics, campus improvement funds and campus activities.

In honor of Kaull's years of service, dedication and commitment to building a strong foundation for the University's future, the University will present Kaull with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Peter F. Merenda

University of Rhode Island Professor Emeritus, Peter F. Merenda, co-founded the Department of Psychology more than 40 years ago with E. Kenneth Carpenter. He also established the graduate programs in psychology, the College of Continuing Education psychology degree program and served two terms as department chair and was the first associate dean of the Graduate School and the University Coordinator of Research. In 1968, he also co-founded the Department of Computer Science and Statistics.

Merenda has distinguished himself with a career as a noted researcher and leader in his field and has served as president of several national and international psychological associations. He has been invited to lecture throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia and has published more than 250 articles, two books and presented more than 100 symposia. He has received notable honors including two Fulbright Awards, the American Psychological Association Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award and the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Psychology. He is a named fellow with several national professional societies.

While this record of achievement and hard work is itself quite remarkable, it is Merenda's dedication to the University, continuing years into his retirement, that most distinguishes his life. He advocated tirelessly for psychology and excellence in undergraduate and graduate training. He promoted and supported the careers of many students and colleagues throughout the years. He served in advisory capacities on many committees enabling the successful completion of theses and dissertations.

To recognize the extraordinary dedication and career of Merenda, the University will confer upon him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf

The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, head of the Episcopal Church's Diocese of Rhode Island, is one of only 11 women bishops in the U.S., and the first ever in Rhode Island. Elected as the 12th Bishop of Rhode Island on Sept. 30, 1995, Bishop Wolf is considered by many to be a born leader. Over the past 30 years, the bishop has focused on various aspects of developing communities. She began her career in 1970 as a teacher and served several Philadelphia-area congregations from 1977 to 1981. She served as a vicar of an African-American mission from 1981 to 1987 when, at the age of 39, she became the first woman dean of a cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral in Louisville, Ky.

Beyond her accomplishments as bishop, Wolf has become a source of inspiration to women and men well outside of the boundaries of her diocese. She has made such bold moves as to publicly document and share with readers of The Providence Journal her journey through her diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from breast cancer in 1996. Hers is a story that is recalled by and has held meaning for others undergoing a similar challenge. More recently, as chronicled again by the Journal, while on sabbatical she spent the month of January as a homeless woman to shed light on the issue and people.

In honor of her leadership and her giving spirit, the University will present Bishop Wolf with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

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