Quinnipiac announces 2023 Commencement speakers

May 09, 2023

Graduates cheer as they walk into the Commencement ceremony on the quad

Quinnipiac will hold six Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2023 from May 12-14 at M&T Bank Arena and the Mount Carmel Campus Quad.

Quinnipiac will hold six Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2023 from May 12-14 at M&T Bank Arena and the Mount Carmel Campus Quad.

The university’s impressive lineup of Commencement speakers includes a United States district judge, medical experts and News 8’s chief political correspondent.

On Friday, May 12, at 1 p.m., Victor Bolden, U.S. judge for the District of Connecticut, will speak to School of Law graduates at M&T Bank Arena on the York Hill Campus. Bolden also will receive an honorary degree.

Judge Bolden was sworn in as a United States district judge on Jan. 7, 2015, after being nominated by President Barack Obama. He received his A.B. from Columbia College in 1986 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1989.

After graduating from law school, Judge Bolden served as a Marvin Karpatkin Fellow for one year and then as a staff attorney for more than four years with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation's National Legal Department. He served as an assistant counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1994-2000.

He then joined the law firm of Wiggin and Dana in New Haven before returning to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to serve as its general counsel. In 2009, he was appointed the corporation counsel for the City of New Haven, and served in that position until December 31, 2014.

At 5 p.m., Dr. Malika Fair, senior director of equity and social accountability for the Association of American Medical Colleges, will address graduates from the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at M&T Bank Arena.

In this role, Dr. Fair develops programs and initiatives with multidisciplinary partners and local communities to advance equity, racial justice, population health and accountability in academic medicine. Her work assists the academic medicine community in becoming anti-racist leaders who acknowledge and understand systemic racial inequities and cultivate evidence-based policies and practices that promote racial justice and equity in our communities, education and research institutions, and healthcare systems.

She is also an associate clinical professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Fair completed her residency training and chief residency at Carolinas Medical Center, received her medical and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan, and her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. 

The School of Business and School of Computing and Engineering undergraduate and graduate Commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad. Jill Mayer, CEO of Bead Industries, will be the guest speaker.

Bead Industries Inc. is a Milford, Connecticut-based company that is comprised of two divisions: Bead Chain and Bead Electronics, and a wholly owned subsidiary, McGuire Mfg. Company. As its fifth-generation leader, Mayer has built upon the family legacy by transforming the organizational culture through innovation, shared purpose and accountability.

A recognized voice in the small-business community, Mayer was named to the National Small Business Association Leadership Council in March. NSBA is the nation’s oldest small-business advocacy organization and operates on a strictly nonpartisan basis. In addition to serving on the executive board of directors for ManufactureCT and the board of Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Jill is also active in Vistage and Women in Manufacturing. In 2019, she was recognized as one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science from Champlain College.

At 3 p.m., Arthur Caplan, Mitty Professor of Bioethics at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, will address graduates during the School of Health Sciences undergraduate and graduate Commencement on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad.

Caplan is one of the most influential voices in the field of bioethics. Since 2012, he has served as a professor of bioethics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the latest stop in a long and distinguished academic career. A fixture on the cable news circuit and a frequent contributor to major print media outlets, Dr. Caplan is never shy about voicing an opinion when it comes to medical trends — usually with a healthy dose of wit. He has written or edited 35 books and has published over 800 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and went on to earn a Master of Arts, a Master of Philosophy and a PhD from Columbia University. Born in Boston, he now resides in New York City with his wife, Meg.  

Commencement will continue on Sunday, May 14, at 10 a.m. Dennis House, chief political anchor and evening anchor for News 8, will speak to as part of the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Communications undergraduate and graduate Commencement on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad.

House has been a friendly face on television screens in Connecticut for over three decades. Across his award-winning career as an anchor and political reporter, House has interviewed U.S. Presidents, moderated political debates, emceed countless charity events and reported live news hits from presidential inaugurations, the World Series and the Final Four.

He’s been a steadying presence for Connecticut viewers during tragedies and natural disasters. Prior to his time at WTNH, he spent more than 20 years broadcasting the evening news at WFSB alongside his friend and longtime co-anchor, the late Denise D’Ascenzo.

House received his bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs from Assumption College before he got his start in broadcast journalism at WPRI-TV in Providence, Rhode Island. Originally from Norwood, Massachusetts, he now lives in Hartford with his wife, Kara Sundlun, a fellow TV news anchor, and their children, Helena and Julian. 

At 3 p.m., Dr. Rocco Orlando III, chief academic officer for Hartford HealthCare, will address the School of Nursing and School of Education undergraduates and graduates on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad.

As the first chief medical officer for Hartford HealthCare, Dr. Orlando directed and assisted clinical staff in their efforts to achieve national pre-eminence in patient quality and safety, as well as creating seamless care coordination across the network. His extensive experience includes multiple internships before completing his residency at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Orlando also participated in a fellowship at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital. He is a member of numerous professional societies and was named a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

With a national reputation for research and clinical excellence, Dr. Orlando has delivered more than 100 medical presentations internationally and across the United States, while also writing and contributing to more than 50 medical publications, abstracts and book chapters. He received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. 

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