RADNOR, Pa. (April 12, 2011) — Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon, co-founders of Project H.O.M.E., will receive honorary doctor of humane letters degrees at Cabrini College’s undergraduate Commencement on Sunday, May 15, 2011, with McConnon addressing bachelor’s degree candidates.
Joan Dawson McConnon and Sister Mary Scullion
James Capolupo, D.M.A., superintendent of the Springfield Delaware County School District, will address master’s degree candidates at Cabrini’s graduate Commencement later that day, and also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
At the 10 a.m. undergraduate Commencement, the College will award bachelor’s degrees to 342 students, while 710 students will receive master’s degrees at the 3:30 p.m. graduate Commencement. This year marks Cabrini’s 51st Commencement exercises.
“The College’s Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients are excellent representatives of the values of a Cabrini education,” said Dr. Marie Angelella George, College President.
“Joan Dawson McConnon was compelled to change her life’s direction after volunteer work, Sister Mary has exhibited a lifelong service to God while fighting tirelessly for the rights of the underserved in the Philadelphia area, and Dr. James Capolupo has for nearly four decades dedicated his life to educating students.”
McConnon and Sister Mary co-founded Project H.O.M.E. in 1989, and have made the organization a nationally recognized program in developing solutions to homelessness and poverty. Project H.O.M.E. has grown from a single emergency shelter to 447 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment for formerly homeless persons.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development selected Project H.O.M.E. as one of “100 Best Practices” nationwide, and Philanthropy Roundtable magazine called it one of the “16 most efficient and innovative charities we know of anywhere.” To date, Project H.O.M.E. has leveraged more than $50 million in equity toward housing and economic development.
After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Pennsylvania State and Drexel universities, respectively, McConnon worked as a Certified Public Accountant for six years. During this time, she volunteered in various cities, and the suffering that she witnessed compelled her to change the direction of her professional life. Her mission became to find a permanent solution to homelessness.
A member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary has been involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978. In recognition of her efforts, Sister Mary has received numerous doctorates and awards, and in 2009 was named one of the “World’s Most Influential People” by Time Magazine. Sister Mary earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at St. Joseph’s University and a master of social work at Temple University.
A week after Cabrini’s Commencement, Sister Mary and McConnon will jointly receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2011 Laetare Medal, one of the most prestigious awards given to American Catholics, for their work with Project H.O.M.E.
Superintendent of the Springfield Delaware County School District since 2005, Dr. Capolupo has helped make the district a model of excellence in literacy, evidenced by the district receiving the International Reading Association Award in 2008 and 2009.
Under Dr. Capolupo’s leadership, all district schools have attained National Blue Ribbon status, and for the past five years all schools in the district have qualified for Adequate Yearly Progress, the benchmark for the No Child Left Behind law. More than 98 percent of students in the district further their education after high school.
Dr. Capolupo has taught music at the elementary, middle, high school and university levels, directed the Jazz Bands at Cabrini and at Princeton University, and served as director of the Instrumental Music Department and as assistant professor at Lincoln University. He earned a bachelor of science in music education at West Chester University, a master of arts in education at Arcadia University, and a doctorate of musical arts at the Combs College of Music in Philadelphia.
The undergraduate Commencement begins at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 15, while the graduate Commencement begins at 3:30 p.m. Both ceremonies will take place under a tent on the Cavalier Athletic Field, 610 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, Pa. On Saturday, May 14, Commencement Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. in the same location.
The Mother Ursula Award—named for the founder of the College—also will be presented at Cabrini’s Commencement. The award is given to a senior who, in the opinion of classmates, has best fulfilled the ideals of the College through academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, leadership and service to classmates and the College.
For information on Commencement, contact the Office of Student Development (610-902-8416) or visit www.cabrini.edu/commencement. Cabrini College Commencement 2011 Recap
About Cabrini College Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming learners of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. Since its founding in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College has provided a transformational “education of the heart,” focusing on academic excellence, leadership development and a commitment to social justice.
Cabrini offers more than 30 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations and minors. The College also has graduate and professional studies programs at its main campus in Radnor, Pa., and at 15 off-site locations. The College’s serene 112-acre campus is located 30 minutes from Philadelphia.