2012 Commencement Speaker & H.D. Recipient

Award Citation for Mellody Hobson

Commencement Speaker Mellody Hobson offers her insights to the Class of 2012.
Commencement Speaker Mellody Hobson offers her insights to the
Class of 2012. Click to watch her Commencement Address.
Saint Mary’s College prides itself on the education of the whole person. Recently, the College has recognized the importance of financial literacy by including it in our new general education curriculum, the Sophia program.  Professor Susan Vance has said, “college is the best time for women to learn about good spending, saving, and investing practices. At this point in their lives, they have the time to learn and are just beginning to form habits that could last forever.” This year we recognize Mellody Hobson, for her ability to make financial literacy and investing accessible to everyone. 

Hobson was born in Chicago, the youngest of six children.  Her mother believed in the power of education and worked to support her family by buying and renovating old buildings. After attending parochial school in Chicago, Mellody received a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy at Princeton University.  Following her graduation she joined Ariel Investments as an intern, rising through the ranks to become the firm’s president and the chair of the board for Ariel Investment Trust.

Her ability to communicate the complexities of financial information to the masses has made her a regular contributor on “Good Morning America,” and a frequent guest on ABC’s World News Tonight.  She has been quoted and profiled in a number of publications including: Essence, Fortune, Money, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal among many others.  Her presentations are lively and filled with practical tips and suggestions.

Beyond her work in finance and investor education, Hobson devotes herself to a variety of educational, civic, and professional causes.  She supports inner-city Catholic education and has served as the co-chair of various fundraising events for these schools.  She places a high value on community outreach and has served as a board member of the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Sundance Institute. She is a former member of the Princeton University Board of Trustees.

President Mooney, I present to you Mellody Hobson, and ask that you, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary's College, confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa.