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April 22 - To the Class of 2020: Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients

Dear Class of 2020,

We look forward to celebrating your achievements at Salve Regina on Sunday, May 16. The Commencement ceremony for both undergraduate and graduate recipients will be celebrated at 10 a.m. under the Commencement tent on the McAuley Hall lawn. If you have not done so already, please RSVP for the ceremony by Wednesday, April 28. You must RSVP in order to participate.

Commencement Speaker

Kathy Behrens, president of social responsibility and player programs for the National Basketball Association, will present the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree. She oversees all NBA programs that coordinate league and player social responsibility efforts, promote youth basketball development, support player growth and education, and enhance the marketing opportunities for current and former players.

Behrens joined the NBA in 2000 when she took charge of the association’s public service initiatives, community outreach and employee volunteer programs. Prior to joining the NBA, she was executive director of New York Cares, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers to help New York City’s neediest residents. She also served in the administration of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and was the executive director of the Friends of Cuomo Campaign Committee during the 1994 governor’s race.

Honorary Degree Recipients

In addition to Behrens, local philanthropist Donald Crist and civil rights hero Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. will receive honorary degrees during the Commencement ceremony.

A longtime friend and supporter of Salve Regina, Christ has been instrumental in securing funding in excess of $4 million for the University’s priority projects through his role as chairman of the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust.

A nonviolence activist for more than 50 years, LaFayette was a co-founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a courageous Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Testing Reminder

As a reminder, if you are participating in activities on Saturday, May 15 and/or the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16, you will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within 48 hours of the event/ceremony upon check-in. Per Rhode Island guidelines, this requirement applies even if you are fully vaccinated.

Baccalaureate Mass

Baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15. The hooding ceremony, which is traditionally part of this liturgy, will unfortunately not be offered this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please RSVP for the Mass by Wednesday, April 28. The Mass will also be offered virtually.

Commencement Regalia

If you have already purchased Commencement regalia and chose to pick it up, your regalia is now available at the Salve Regina bookstore. To see current hours, visit the bookstore website. If you still need Commencement regalia, you must purchase it through the bookstore website. You will be asked for height, weight and degree. Please provide one of the following for degree: B.S., B.A., B.A.S., M.S., M.A., MBA or MFA. Doctoral recipients should email commencement@salve.edu to arrange for their regalia.

Please visit the Commencement website for more information.