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Sister Helen Prejean unable to attend Salve Regina commencement; Roger Mandle will address graduates on May 20


Dr. Roger Mandle, Newport Restoration Foundation board president who is an expert in strategic planning for museums and universities, will address the graduating class and receive an honorary degree when Salve Regina University celebrates its 68th commencement on Sunday, May 20.

Also receiving an honorary degree during the ceremony will be local philanthropist Hope H. “Happy” van Beuren, founder and chair emerita of the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.

Mandle, who served 15 years as president of Rhode Island School of Design, is currently president and CEO of Roger Mandle Associates LLC, a consulting firm that leads in the creation of alternative models of art and design institutions, including online education.

During Mandle’s presidency at RISD (1993-2008), new academic and museum programs were established, including a joint degree program with Brown University, and a new urban campus incorporating a number of renovated historic buildings in downtown Providence.  In 2009, RISD awarded Mandle an honorary doctorate.

From 2008-2012, Mandle was executive director and chief museums officer of Qatar Museums Authority, responsible for the concept development, governance structure, staff creation, architectural planning and program execution for over 12 museums and cultural institutions.

He served as deputy director and chief curator of the National Gallery of Art from 1988-1993, as director of The Toledo Museum of Art from 1977-1988, and as associate director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art from 1967-74.

Mandle serves on the board of Maine Media Workshops + College, and Williams College Museum of Art. He is also chair of the board of a new museum, The Massachusetts Design Art & Technology Institute in New Bedford, Mass.

A recognized scholar of eighteenth century Dutch art, Mandle received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and his M.A. and Museum Training Certificate from New York University. He has taught museum studies and art history at Williams College, Brown University and RISD. He has been awarded eight honorary degrees.

Salve Regina University’s originally scheduled commencement speaker, Sister Helen Prejean, is unable to attend the ceremony next month (see the Facebook post in regards to her health below). The university will present an honorary doctorate to Sister Helen at a later date, when she is able to resume travel and has announced that Roger Mandle will take her place in speaking to members of the Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 20.

Sister Helen Prejean Facebook post: April 21 at 9:56am

Happy birthday from all of us at the Ministry Against the Death Penalty to Sister Helen Prejean, who is 79 years today.

For those of you who have been following along, Sr. Helen is recovering well from her recent illness. Although she isn’t yet able to travel, this past week she used Skype to participate in three classes and a panel at DePaul University. Feedback from the students in the classes was “It was as if she was here with us!” Even through a screen, Sr. Helen’s commitment and passion and love of engaging with people comes across powerfully.

Hope H. van Beuren

The van Beuren Charitable Foundation was established in 1986 by John A. “Archie” and Hope H. “Happy” van Beuren with a mission to invest in the quality of life and quality of place of Aquidneck Island and its surrounding communities.

For more than three decades, the Foundation has contributed more than $67 million to the Newport region, partnering with the community to support projects and programs in four priority areas: Strong Starts, Healthy Lifestyles, Community Prosperity, and Excellence in the Commons. The Foundation has emerged as a strategic partner to like-minded charitable organizations and remains committed to strengthening the community in its priority areas of interest.

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