The Board of Trustees of Albertus Magnus College has voted unanimously to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon the following distinguished individuals at the Collegeís 90th Commencement Exercises, Sunday, May 19, 2013:
Barbara W. DeBaptiste is a longtime advocate for the rights of women, minorities and children. She deeply believes that committed people of imagination and goodwill change the world. Ms. DeBaptiste is a former commissioner and past chair of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women; founding member and past national president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and founder of the Connecticut chapter and 11 local chapters; and immediate past president and board member of the National Womenís Hall of Fame. She received a bachelorís degree from the University of Connecticut and a masterís degree from Central Connecticut State University, and has done advanced graduate work in educational administration at the University of Hartford.
The Honorable John T. Downey joined the Central Intelligence Agency shortly after his graduation from Yale University in 1951 and was sent to the Far East. In November 1952, while on a mission over China, his plane was shot down; he was captured by the Chinese, tried, sentenced to life in prison and finally released after 20 years. Upon his return to the United States, Judge Downey entered Harvard Law School and received the J.D. degree in 1976. After a long and distinguished career in public service and the judiciary, he retired in 1997 as Connecticutís chief administrative judge for juvenile matters, and continues to serve as a judge trial referee. In 2002 the Connecticut Judicial Branch re-named the New Haven Juvenile Matters Courthouse the John T. Downey Courthouse.
Sr. Doris Regan, O.P., a member of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, has served the people of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, one of the ten poorest cities in the Western Hemisphere, as part of a Dominican collaborative mission since 1998. Her work includes theology formation programs for the laity, preaching workshops, a pre-school, a tutoring program for children in the local school, a prison outreach program, a remedial program for special education students and a small business project to help women earn an income. The team also runs the Casa Aurora (House of Dawn) AIDS Center, counseling and ministering to more than 50 families with children infected or affected by the disease. Sr. Doris attended Albertus Magnus College from 1954 to 1956.