Botswana’s first female high court judge, will address Saint Michael’s College graduates

first_imgHonorary degrees will go to Bernd Heinrich, Lois McClure & Rev. Richard Myhalyk, SSEUnity Dow, Botswanas first female high court judge, will address Saint Michaels College graduates at commencement May 15, 2008Unity Dow, Botswanas first female High Court Judge, will be the principal speaker at the Saint Michael’s College 2008 Commencement ceremonies. With a history of commitment to social justice, Saint Michaels College and its founding order of Edmundite priests are in sync with the philosophy of Justice Dow and her struggles for human rights and womens rights in Africa.Justice Dow will address the 404 students expected to be present to receive bachelors degrees and the 54 who are expected to receive masters degrees, as well as faculty and staff and nearly 4,000 family members and friends assembled at the Saint Michaels College commencement exercises, Thursday, May 15, starting at 10 a.m. in the Ross Sports Center in Colchester, Vt.Baccalaureate will be held in honor of the graduates Wednesday, May 14, at 3 p.m. in the Ross Sports Center, starting with an awards ceremony with Saint Michaels President John Neuhauser presiding, followed by a Mass with the Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Burlington, as the main celebrant and homilist.Commencement SpeakerBotswana High Court Justice Unity Dow was the first female appointed to Botswanas High Court. Named in 1998, Justice Dow has a long history of advocating for the rights of women in Africa. She was elected to the International Commission of Jurists in 2004 and to its executive committee in 2006. As founder (in 1990) and director (from 1994 to 1998) of the Metlhaetsile Womens Information Centre, Justice Dow worked to promote the human rights of women and children. She coordinated the Women & Law in Southern Africa Research Project, engaging in a six-country study of womens rights. She was also plaintiff in a ground-breaking case that overturned Botswanas nationality law, thereby propelling passage of legislation enabling women to pass their nationality on to their children. She studied law at the University of Botswana and Swaziland, with two years at Edinburgh University, Scotland. Justice Dow received the William Brennan Human Rights Award and an honorary degree from Kenyon College. Unity Dow is also a well-known fiction writer, having published four novels to wide critical acclaim.Honorary Degree RecipientsBernd Heinrich is the author of scholarly books and many articles and a number of award-winning general interest books, including the bestselling Winter World, The Geese of Beaver Bog, Why We Run, and, most recent, his memoir, The Snoring Bird. In his extensive explorations and publications Bernd Heinrich has studied ravens, bumblebees, butterflies, antelopes, wolves, owls, weasels and more. He has developed a wide, passionate readership of admirers amongst scientists and generalists, and has received numerous awards and grants, including being inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 1996. Bernd Heinrich is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Vermont. He divides his time between Vermont and the forests of western Maine.Lois McClure and her late husband J. Warren McClure were instrumental in establishing the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Saint Michaels College in 1973. Mrs. McClure and her husband have been extraordinary philanthropists to educational and health care organizations throughout Vermont. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum named its 19th century schooner replica the Lois McClure in honor of Mrs. McClure. In 2005 Mrs. McClure, a resident of Shelburne, Vt., established the J. Warren and Lois McClure Journalism Scholarship at Saint Michaels.The Rev. Richard M. Myhalyk, S.S.E., is the recently retired Superior General and Vocation Director of the Society of St. Edmund, the order of priests that founded Saint Michael’s College. Father Myhalyk has served in numerous positions for the Society of St. Edmund and for Saint Michaels College, including Assistant to the President of Saint Michaels for Institutional Research from 1987 to 1994. He has repeatedly served the Society at their missions in Selma and Mobile, Ala., and at their retreat center in Mystic, Conn. Father Myhalyk has also served as vice president and president of Vermont Dismas House (2002-2007) and as a board member of Mater Christi School in Burlington (1999-2005).Saint Michaels College, www.smcvt.edu(link is external), founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 366 Colleges. A liberal arts, residential, Catholic college, Saint Michaels is located just outside of Burlington, Vermont, one of Americas top college towns, and less than two hours from Montreal. As one of only 270 institutions nationwide with a prestigious Phi Beta Kappa chapter on campus, Saint Michaels has 2,000 full-time undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 200 international students. In recent years Saint Michaels students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Guggenheim, Fulbright, National Science Foundation and other grants, and Saint Michaels professors have been named Vermont Professor of the Year in four of the last seven years. The college is currently listed as one of the nations Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2008 U.S. News & World Report rankings. -30-last_img

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