NEW ROCHELLE, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The 93rd annual graduation ceremony of The College of New Rochelle will take place May 25 at 12 noon on the Maura Lawn. "We have prepared our graduates to meet the challenges that lie ahead, and share their enthusiasm for the limitless possibilities before them," said Stephen J. Sweeny, Ph.D., president of The College of New Rochelle. "Like our distinguished honorees, I pray that the class of 2000 find joy and fulfillment in all that they achieve," said Sweeny. Honorary degrees will be conferred on acclaimed American fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger, noted public servant Corinne "Lindy" Claiborne Boggs and social reformer, Dorothy F. Cotton. Rabbi Amiel Wohl will also be recognized at the ceremony. He is slated to receive The College of New Rochelle's prestigious Pope John XXIII Medal. Thomas J. Hilfiger is the example of one of our best American success stories. He was born the second of nine children in a Roman Catholic household in Elmira, New York. In 1984, he launched his first signature collection. The collection grossed $5 million in the first year and $16 million in the second. In the late 1980s, Tommy started his own company, Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. Since that time, the name Tommy Hilfiger has become an American icon. This success however, did not deter Tommy from the strong family values he had learned as a child. Tommy's story includes sharing the fruits of success with the society around him. He has been actively involved in multiple sclerosis research as a board member for Race to Erase MS and for many years in the Fresh Air Fund, which provides New York City's neediest children with free summer vacations away from the city streets and offers a Career Awareness Program, which prepares inner-city youth to pursue meaningful careers. He is also a dedicated supporter of numerous charities through the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation. Corinne Claiborne Boggs, "Lindy" to the world, is a woman of many "firsts." In 1973, she was the first woman from Louisiana to be elected to Congress; in 1976, she became the first woman to chair a Democratic national convention, presiding over the nomination of President Jimmy Carter; and in 1997, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be the first woman ambassador from the United States to the Vatican -- a position she holds to this day. A crusader for social justice, she spearheaded legislation on issues ranging from civil rights to credit access to pay equity for women. She is the mother of Cokie Boggs Roberts, National Public Radio and ABC correspondent. According to Dorothy F. Cotton, "we all can be more. Like a caterpillar in a cocoon, you could grow wings. And when you're ready and your wings are strong, you can fly and soar to great heights." Born in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1931, Cotton went on to become the only female member of the Executive Staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), becoming one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s closest confidantes. Her presence in SCLC's inner circle put her at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement as a planner, coordinator, and demonstration leader. She later founded her own consulting company, Dorothy Cotton & Associates, which conducts seminars on leadership development, individual empowerment, and social change. Dorothy is also one of the founding members of the National Citizenship School, devoted to teaching people how to create publicly accountable institutions that reflect high democratic ideals and enhance the capacity of every individual to live a meaningful life. Rabbi Amiel Wohl is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel and the co-founder of the Coalition for Mutual Respect with Reverend Vernon A. Shannon of St. Catherine African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. With the goal of rebuilding and enhancing communications between Blacks and Jews in order to conquer the injustices of bigotry and intergroup hatred, the Coalition has sponsored numerous programs to bring people together, including interfaith services, pulpit exchanges, and public programs. Rabbi Wohl's vision of creating a vehicle that would extend beyond the temple's walls led to his popular, groundbreaking weekly radio program that for the past twenty five years has served as an inspiration to people of all faiths. Extremely active in the community both locally and nationally, Rabbi Wohl has been an integral force with many religious organizations, including the Interreligious Council of New Rochelle, the Westchester Board of Rabbis, the Westchester Israel Action Committee, and PERLE (People for Relief in Lebanon), an interfaith project that fosters understanding of problems in the Middle East. Among his many awards, he earned life membership in the National Federation of Temple Youth for distinguished service to youth, the Martin Luther King Drum Major Award, and the Omega Psi Phi Award for Outstanding Achievements in Improving Human Relations. He holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree conferred by The College of New Rochelle in 1993. The College of New Rochelle will confer approximately 1,000 bachelor's degrees on graduates of the all-women School of Arts & Sciences, the co-educational School of New Resources for adult learners, and the School of Nursing, as well as approximately 400 degrees on the women and men of the Graduate School and the School of Nursing master's degree program. Founded in 1904, The College of New Rochelle was the first Catholic college for women in New York State. Today, it comprises the all-women School of Arts & Sciences, and three schools which admit women and men: the School of New Resources (for adult learners), the School of Nursing and the Graduate School. The main campus is located in lower Westchester County, 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan. The college maintains six other campus locations in New York City.
SOURCE The College of New Rochelle