SHU Announces 44th Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

News Story: April 1, 2010

Honorees include NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol; Former GE Executive Bill Conaty; Author Sidney Callahan; and Bishop Norberto Strotmann, of Peru

SHU Luxembourg to Celebrate 18th Commencement and Honor Mayor of Luxembourg City Paul Helminger

Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, recently back from the Vancouver Olympic Games, will deliver the commencement address at Sacred Heart University’s 44th Undergraduate Commencement on Sunday, May 16th, at 11:00 a.m. on Campus Field. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Bill Conaty, senior vice president of Human Resources at GE from 1993 to 2007 and former SHU trustee, will address the University’s Graduate Commencement on Saturday, May 15th, at 1:30 p.m. in the William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center. He will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Also receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Undergraduate Commencement on May 16th are Sidney Callahan, an author and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, and the Most Rev. Norberto Strotmann, M.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Chosica, Peru.

The University will bestow a total of 1,535 degrees this year, including 48 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees, 551 master’s degrees, 848 bachelor’s degrees, 13 associate’s degrees and 75 professional certificates.

On July 3rd, Sacred Heart University’s Luxembourg Campus will celebrate its 18th Commencement in Luxembourg City. Monsieur Paul Helminger, the mayor of the City of Luxembourg, will deliver the commencement address and will receive the degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Dick Ebersol

Dick Ebersol was named chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics in May 2005, after serving as chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics since June 1998. He is responsible for all sports programming on the NBC and USA networks, along with overseeing every aspect of NBC Universal’s involvement with the Olympic Games. He has regularly been among the top 10 honorees on The Sporting News annual list of the 100 most powerful sports figures, including 1996 when he was named the publication’s Most Powerful Person in Sports. In 1992, he was awarded the Olympic Order, an honor periodically bestowed by the International Olympic Committee to recognize remarkable contributions to the Olympic Movement. In 2000, the March of Dimes honored Mr. Ebersol with its Corporate Leadership Award. At the 2003 Michael S. Modell Awards Dinner, he was presented with the prestigious Dick Schaap Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports.

Bill Conaty

After 40 years with GE, the company Bill Conaty left behind owes much of its global success to the top-notch human resources organization that he developed and led for over 14 years.  Mr. Conaty has long been recognized as a world leader in human resources with a track record of innovation. He was the architect behind many of GE’s widely respected human resources practices in the areas of workforce differentiation and succession planning, and has been a role model for turning HR organizations into strategic business partners. Mr. Conaty spent his entire career at GE serving in a wide variety of management and labor relations roles before assuming the lead HR role in 1993. In 2004, he was named Human Resources Executive of the Year by Human Resource Executive magazine.  Following his retirement from GE, Mr. Conaty formed his own consulting company, Conaty Consulting, LLC.  He currently serves as a personal advisor to the CEOs of several Fortune 100® companies. He is also co-authoring a book with Ram Charan titled The Talent Masters which will be published by Random House later this year.

Sidney Callahan

Sidney Callahan is an author, lecturer, college professor and licensed psychologist. In 2002-2003, she held the Paul J. McKeever Chair of Moral Theology, St. John's University in Queens, NY and she was a tenured professor of Psychology at Mercy College from 1980-1997. She received her B.A. in English from Bryn Mawr College, her M.A. in Psychology from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the City University of New York Graduate School. Dr. Callahan has written many articles, books and columns devoted to religious, psychological and ethical questions. She has lectured and led workshops at more than 300 colleges and institutions across the United States. She is a past recipient of Notre Dame University’s Laetare Medal. Her most recent volumes include Created for Joy: A Christian View of Suffering and Women Who Hear Voices: The Challenge of Religious Experience.  

Bishop Strotmann

A priest for nearly 40 years, Bishop Norberto Strotmann is an educator, a dean and an author. He has played leadership roles in the International Theological Commission and within the Latin American Conference of Bishops. Bishop Strotmann has been regional director of the major seminary of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Peru and the academic dean and professor of Theology at the Institute for Theological Studies in Lima. He also served as the rector of the Pontifical and Civil Faculty of Theology of Lima. In 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of Lima.  In 1996, he was appointed apostolic administrator of the new Diocese of Chosica, Peru and, in 1997, he was appointed first bishop of the Diocese of Chosica.



Paul Helminger studied at the Sorbonne, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and at Stanford University. He has worked with the Luxembourg diplomatic service in London, Helsinki and Geneva. He was chief of staff to Prime Minister Gaston Thorn and State Secretary for Foreign Trade, Development Assistance and the Economy, with particular responsibility for domestic economic diversification including foreign investment and foreign development assistance. Mr. Helminger was a member of the Luxembourg Parliament from 1984 to 1989 and at the same time managing director of ComputerLand Europe which, at the time, was Europe’s largest PC retailer. Since 1987 he has been a city councilor for the City of Luxembourg and served as president of SERIE S.A., a consulting boutique specializing in strategic business development and company restructuring. Mr. Helminger served as the City of Luxembourg deputy mayor and since August 1999 he has been the mayor of the City of Luxembourg. In 1994 he again became a member of the Luxembourg Parliament.

For additional information on Commencement 2010, click here.  To watch videos from Commencement 2010, click here.  To watch photo slideshows from both Undergraduate and Graduate ceremonies, click here.