47th Commencement Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

Clockwise, from top left, are E. Patricia Llodra, Terry Eagleton, Barry H. Ostrowsky and Paul Baumann.

News Story: April 9, 2013

Honorary Degree Recipients are Paul Baumann, editor of Commonweal magazine; Terry Eagleton, author; E. Patricia Llodra, first selectman of Newtown; and Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of Barnabas Health.

An honorary Doctor of Laws degree will be presented to E. Patricia Llodra, first selectman of Newtown, and author Terry Eagleton will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Sacred Heart University’s 47th annual Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 19. Llodra will deliver the commencement address.

At Graduate Commencement on Saturday, May 18, SHU will present Paul Baumann, editor of Commonweal magazine, with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of Barnabas Health, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Baumann will deliver the keynote address to the graduates and their family and friends.

The Class of 2013 includes 756 undergraduates who will be receiving associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Master’s degrees, professional certificates and doctorates will be presented to 722 graduate students.

Llodra is currently first selectman of the Newtown. She previously served on Newtown’s Board of Legislators and Board of Education. During her career as an educator, she has been a math and computer science teacher, principal of Northwestern Region School, interim principal of Newtown High School, assistant executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools and director of leadership development and executive coaching for the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) and the Connecticut State Department of Education. Her many awards include the Excellence in Education Award, Connecticut High School Principal of the Year, PIMMS Fellow  at Wesleyan for a project to increase the mastery of math and science, the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Young Woman from the Newtown Jaycees and many more. She is the co-author of Common Core of Leading, funded by The Wallace Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in mathematics/eduction, a certificate of advanced study in supervision/evaluation and a 6th-year certificate. She has also done some doctoral studies.

Baumann is editor of Commonweal magazine. He began his journalism career as a reporter and editorial writer at The Day in New London. He joined the staff of Commonweal in 1990, and was named editor in 2003. He is co-editor of Commonweal Confronts the Century: Liberal Convictions, Catholic Tradition, a collection of articles celebrating the magazine’s 75th Anniversary (1999). His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, the Washington Monthly and other venues. He received a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School.

Eagleton, literary scholar and cultural theorist, grew up in humble circumstances as part of a working-class Irish Catholic family in Salford, England.  He served as an altar boy at a nearby Carmelite convent and at various points in his life considered the priesthood. He was the first in his family to gain entrance to a good grammar school and go on to college. While perhaps most recognized for literary criticism, Eagleton is also known for his work in cultural theory, religion, politics and history. He is the author of over 40 academic books, in addition to plays, film and television scripts, a memoir and the novel Saints and Scholars. His most recent books are Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate and On Evil, published by Yale University Press in 2009 and 2010. He is currently Excellence in English Distinguished Visitor at the University of Notre Dame. Formerly the John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester and the Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Eagleton has held visiting appointments at a number of universities around the world. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the English Association. He earned his master’s degree from De La Salle College in and his doctorate from Trinity College in Cambridge, England.

Ostrowsky is president and chief executive officer of Barnabas Health. He has held this position since January 2012, but served as the second-most senior member of the management team since 1991, playing a major role in the expansion of the organization from one hospital to New Jersey’s largest integrated health care delivery system. Previously, he was a senior partner in the law firm of Brach, Eichler, where he was active in shaping the evolution of the State’s health care delivery system.  In 2012 and 2013, Ostrowsky was named among the 100 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Business by NJBIZ. Throughout his career, Ostrowsky has been active in many organizations, including the United Jewish Appeal.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a JD from the University of Tennessee School of Law.

Photo of Patricia Llodra is provided courtesy of the Danbury News-Times. Terry Eagleton was photographed by Eamonn McCabe.