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Ted Kennedy Jr., Sen. Murphy to address UNH Graduates on May 19

Release Date:
4/29/2013 12:00 AM
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Ted Kennedy Jr., features Ted Kennedy Jr.

WALLINGFORD, CONN. – Ted Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and advocate for people with disabilities, will be the keynote speaker at the morning commencement ceremony of the University of New Haven at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre on Sunday, May 19.

Kennedy will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony, which starts at 10 a.m.

A second ceremony at 3 p.m. will feature a commencement address delivered by Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

UNH is awarding 37 associate degrees, 760 bachelor’s degrees and 388 master’s degrees at the May 19 ceremonies.

Kennedy is the president and co-founder of the health care-centric financial services and consulting firm Marwood Group, which advises asset managers, hospitals and pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies on market trends and regulatory issues. For the past 15 years, he has served as a board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities, the country's largest disability civil rights and public policy organization.

Christopher Murphy, features Sen. Christopher Murphy

Murphy was elected to the United States Senate last fall and, at age 30, is the youngest sitting senator.  He serves on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.

Murphy previously served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives for Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District. While a congressman, he helped to shape the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which was created in 2008.

Lubbie Harper, Richard Kaufmann Receive Honorary Degrees

At the morning ceremony, Lubbie Harper Jr., a former Connecticut Supreme Court associate justice, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and the late Richard Kaufmann will be posthumously awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.

Harper, who received an associate degree from UNH in 1963 and a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration in 1965, was appointed to the Connecticut Superior Court in 1997 and the state Appellate Court in 2005.

In 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy named Justice Harper to the State’s Supreme Court. Following his tenure on the State’s highest court, he currently sits by designation on the Appellate Court.

In 2008, while serving on the Supreme Court in a temporary capacity, Harper cast the swing vote in the court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in Connecticut.

A former member of the UNH Board of Governors, Harper is the chairman of Connecticut’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity. He received UNH’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.

Kaufmann, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UNH in 1967, died in 2012. His degree will be accepted by his children, Kenneth Kaufmann and Laura Miranto.

Kaufmann founded Thermal Engineering of Arizona, a company that designs and installs systems to heat and clean water used in the commercial laundry and textile industries. The 36- year-old company has built more than 1,500 of the largest commercial laundry facilities in the U.S. The inventor of a continuous flow laundry system, Kaufmann held five U.S. patents. He also designed the fire house in North Madison, where he served as president and was a longtime volunteer.

Honorary Degrees Also Awarded to Rosa Gatti, Stephen Tagliatela

Two additional honorary degrees will be awarded at the afternoon ceremony. Rosa Gatti, a former senior vice president for communications counsel and corporate outreach at ESPN, and Stephen Tagliatela, co-owner of the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, will be awarded honorary Doctor of Business degrees.  Both are members of the UNH Board of Governors.

Gatti recently retired after a 33-year career as an executive at ESPN. She directed the station’s publicity efforts for the America’s Cup, the National Football League, SportsCenter, ESPN’s countdown of the top 100 athletes of the 20th century, the X-Games and other ESPN anniversary campaigns and events. Earlier this year, she was named one of the Sports Business Journal's “Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business.”

Tagliatela also is co-owner of the Franklin Construction in New Haven and North Haven Health & Racquet and a director of his parent’s foundation, the Louis F. and Mary A. Tagliatela Family Foundation. He is a member of the UNH Center for Family Business, funds an endowed scholarship at the university and is a generous benefactor of the university's Tagliatela College of Engineering.

The Saybrook Point Inn has earned seven Green Circle Awards from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Tagliatela is a member of the Connecticut Marina Trades Association and the advisory board of Liberty Bank. He also serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency's Long Island Sound Study and is a board member of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Inc.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.