RADNOR, Pa. (April 9, 2013) — James J. Maguire Sr., chairman emeritus and founder of Philadelphia Insurance Companies, will address bachelor’s degree candidates and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters at Cabrini College’s undergraduate Commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2013.
John R. McConnell, founder and first president of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, will address master’s degree candidates and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters at the College’s graduate Commencement later that day.
At the 10 a.m. undergraduate Commencement, the College will award bachelor’s degrees to more than 330 undergraduates, while about 720 graduate students will receive master’s degrees at the 3 p.m. Commencement. This year marks Cabrini’s 53rd Commencement exercises.
“The College’s Commencement speakers are remarkable role models for our graduates,” said Marie Angelella George, Ph.D., college president. “Both are dedicated leaders in Philadelphia, and have strong commitments to education.”
“Jim Maguire supports education through his foundation, and his generosity has directly impacted Cabrini students. John McConnell has provided a breath of fresh air to high school students with the recent opening of Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia, an independent Catholic high school for students who otherwise couldn’t afford a private education.”
In 1960, Maguire founded Philadelphia Insurance Companies, which went public in 1993 and now has 49 offices across the United States with 1,600 employees.
A longtime friend and benefactor of Cabrini, Maguire served as the first lay chairman of Cabrini College’s Board of Trustees, and he served on the board for 14 years. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved Trustee Emeritus status for Maguire at the Board meeting on February 16, 2013.
Maguire received the Honorary Alumnus Award in 1980; his daughter, Susan M. Maguire, earned undergraduate and master’s degrees at Cabrini; and the Maguire House residence hall is named in his honor.
A 1958 graduate of Saint Joseph’s University, Maguire was honored by the University when it named its 38-acre Merion Campus after him.
Maguire lives in Chestnut Hill with his wife of 55 years, Frances. They have nine children and 21 grandchildren.
The Maguires are founders and co-principals of the Maguire Foundation, which focuses its resources on education. In 2011, the Maguire Foundation selected Cabrini as a participant in the Maguire Scholars Program, which generously funds scholarships for graduates of Catholic high schools.
The program is designed to support undergraduate students through all four years, and encourages their participation in community engagement and extracurricular activities.
John R. McConnell founded Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, which opened its doors to its first class of 9th graders in August 2012. Cristo Rey is an independent, Catholic high school with a model of learning formed by a unique partnership of local educators, businesses, and universities.
The curriculum combines rigorous academics with work internships in businesses where the students are mentored by college educated adults. The school is geared toward students of all faiths who could not otherwise afford a private education, and the wages students earn during their internships help pay for the cost of their education.
There are 25 Cristo Rey Network high schools operating across the U.S., and 100 percent of Cristo Rey graduates are accepted into college.
Previously, for nearly 20 years McConnell was a management consulting partner with Deloitte. He has served on boards of Philadelphia non-profit organizations: Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Philadelphia; The Rosemont School of the Holy Child; and his high school alma mater, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, where he served as chairman of the board from 2008-11.
An active member of St. Katharine of Sienna Parish in Wayne, Pa., McConnell served on the Parish Council from 2001-2011, led the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program from 2009 to 2012, and taught Catholic Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes from 2001-2009.
McConnell is author of a book for students: “Faith and Happiness: A Primer for Maturing Catholics.”
McConnell earned a bachelor of science in business administration in 1974 from Georgetown University, and a master’s in business administration in 1982 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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 14 off-site locations. The College’s serene 112-acre campus is located 30 minutes from Philadelphia.