University News

University of New Haven Announces Commencement Speakers, Honorary Degree Recipients for Ceremonies in Wallingford, Old Lyme

May 9, 2018

Commencement '17
The University of New Haven will award more than 1,500 degrees during Commencement ceremonies on May 11 and 12.

The University of New Haven announced today the speakers and honorary degree recipients for its 2018 Commencement Exercises. Two of the ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 12, at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre, 95 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford, Conn.

A separate commencement ceremony will take place at the University's Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn. on Friday, May 11, at 3 p.m.

The total number of graduates includes: 32 associate's degrees; 1,000 bachelor's degrees; 492 master's degrees; four Ph.D. degrees; and 18 Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees at the Lyme ceremony.

Saturday Morning Ceremony

The first ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, for undergraduate and graduate students from the University's College of Arts & Sciences and the Tagliatela College of Engineering.

The speaker will be Frances Padilla, president of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, who will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Padilla and her husband, John, founded New Paradigms Consulting, which facilitates multi-stakeholder problem-solving collaborations for nonprofits and government agencies. They also founded the Progreso Latino Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, an endowment fund to promote the educational, economic, and social well-being of Latinos.

Padilla serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, the Government Relations and Policy Committee of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, and the executive committee of Qualidigm, an organization that works with hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes to improve the quality of care. A New Haven resident, Padilla serves on the Advisory Council for the University of New Haven's Tow Youth Justice Institute, a public-private partnership dedicated to juvenile justice reform.

Receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the morning exercises will be Baron Carl Amato, a successful real estate investor and business executive, who is a financial advisor at Banca Gesfid SA.

He is ambassador for The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta to the nations of St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Saturday Afternoon Ceremony

The second ceremony will take place will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, for undergraduate and graduate degree recipients from the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences and the College of Business.

Paul Heth, who will also receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration, will deliver the afternoon's Commencement address. He is the chief executive officer and founder of Patton Ventures, which invests in and operates film-related businesses He is widely credited with transforming the Russian cinema industry, now one of the world's top 10 markets.

Patricia Melton, president of New Haven Promise, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Melton has implemented several initiatives to benefit New Haven's youth, including the Ambassadors Program, a peer-mentoring initiative. A former U.S. Olympic trials finalist and All-American, she became, in 2013, the first African-American woman to be awarded Yale University's George H.W. Bush Award, the university's most prestigious honor.

Allison K. Schieffelin, will receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree. The chief executive officer and founder of The Lighting Quotient of West Haven, which designs, engineers, and manufactures innovative lighting solutions, Schieffelin is a member of the University of New Haven's Board of Governors.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts

The commencement exercises at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven will take place on Friday, May 11, at 3 p.m. at the college's campus in Old Lyme.

Kristina Newman-Scott, director of Connecticut's Culture and State Historic Preservation Office, will deliver the commencement address and will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. She is a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow, and serves on the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

Suzanne Gaskell will receive the distinguished service award in art education. She has taught photography, drawing and printmaking at Daniel Hand High School in Madison for 20 years.