2018 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients
Carolyn Woo, the former CEO of Catholic Relief Services, will deliver the Commencement address to the Saint Mary’s College Class of 2018.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Woo was educated by the Maryknoll Sisters of Ossining, and immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics with highest distinction and honors, a master of science in industrial administration with recognition as Krannert Scholar, and her doctoral degree.
She joined Purdue as assistant professor in 1981, became full professor in 1991, and directed the Professional Master’s Programs in the Krannert School of Management from 1993-1995 and also served as associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University. From 1997-2011, Woo served as Martin J. Gillen Dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. She served as CEO of Catholic Relief Services from 2012-2016.
Acclaimed peace activist Sister Margaret “Peggy” O’Neill, SC will also receive an honorary degree. Beginning in 1986, Sister Peggy served in the Diocese of San Salvador, assisting refugees during El Salvador’s civil war. In 2006, she established El Centro Arte Para la Paz, an educational and cultural center that promotes peace through the arts and spiritual reflection in Suchitoto, El Salvador, on the grounds of the historic Santa Imelda School and Convent.
As a theology professor, Sister Peggy taught at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York for 25 years, as well as through Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education in El Salvador. She is currently a faculty member of Santa Clara University’s Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador.
Sister Peggy’s numerous honors include the 2008 Peacemaker Award of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the 2008 Ciudadana Ilustre Award, which recognized her work on behalf of social and cultural development in El Salvador.