March 26, 2019

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we all look forward to celebrating with graduating students at Trinity’s 193rd Commencement, set for Sunday, May 19, it is my privilege now to share with you the names of this year’s Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients.

Honorary degrees will be presented to three distinguished individuals. This year’s Commencement speaker will be Samuel H. Kennedy ’95, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox. At Trinity, Kennedy majored in American studies and was a member of the baseball team. You may recall reading in The Trinity Reporter a few years ago about how, as a sophomore, he sat down one Saturday morning, determined to write to every owner and president of all 28 Major League Baseball teams to seek advice and a summer internship. Kennedy’s ambitious letter-writing marathon set him on the path that led him to his current role presiding over the 2018 World Series Champions.

In addition to his distinguished career in Major League Baseball, Kennedy is an active volunteer in his Massachusetts community, where he contributes his talents and service to health, education, and summer camp organizations.

Honorary degrees also will be presented to Nancy Beth Lublin, the founder of Crisis Text Line, and, posthumously, to Bruce N. Whitman ’55, a pioneer in the aviation industry. Sadly, Whitman passed away in October 2018, after the college had made plans to award him an honorary degree.

This year’s Baccalaureate speaker will be selected from among the faculty in the process initiated last year and led by College Chaplain Allison Read.

The Baccalaureate ceremony will be held in the Chapel at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, and the Commencement ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 19. I hope you’ll join us for these momentous occasions in honor of the great Class of 2019.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience