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Cabrini students at Commencement

William R. Hite Jr., EdD, and Bhavna Shyamalan, PhD, to Speak at Milestone Cabrini Commencement

Posted on 3/28/2017 4:00:38 PM

RADNOR, Pa. (March. 28, 2017)—William R. Hite Jr., EdD, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, will address bachelor’s degree candidates at Cabrini University’s undergraduate Commencement on Sunday, May 21, at 10am.

Bhavna Shyamalan, PhD, Co-founder and Vice President of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation, will address master’s degree candidates at the University’s graduate Commencement on Sunday, May 21, at 2:30pm.

Celebrating a trifold of milestones, the ceremonies mark Cabrini’s 57th Commencement, the first exercises since becoming a University, and Cabrini’s 60th anniversary.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Hite and Dr. Shyamalan during a year of momentous occasions,” said Donald B. Taylor, PhD, President of Cabrini University. “By sharing Cabrini’s steadfast commitment to social justice and education, these leaders exemplify how graduates will continue to impact their communities, long after leaving campus.” 

With a focus on equity, innovation, and quality, William R. Hite, EdD, serves his role as superintendent of the largest public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a focus on equity, innovation, and quality.

Since joining the district in 2012, Hite has worked to improve academics in The School District of Philadelphia while navigating a series of financial challenges. The school district’s vision is to create a system of great schools in every neighborhood. Under his leadership, the school district has opened new innovative high schools, expanded successful school models, launched in-district turnarounds, and redesigned schools in partnership with communities. His overall focus remains on strengthening all elementary and secondary school offerings.

Hite has served at every level of K-12 education, including teacher, principal, and central office administrator in Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia school districts.

One of Hite’s frequent sayings, “Smart is something you become,” speaks to his belief in the potential of all students to achieve the highest standards with access to the right teachers, coursework, and opportunities.

Hite holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in education specializing in educational leadership from Virginia Tech.

For more than 15 years, Bhavna Shyamalan, PhD, has served in her role as Co-founder and Vice President of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation. The foundation focuses on discovering and supporting grassroots leaders around the world who are moving depressed communities out of poverty and oppression. These global leaders are empowering their communities by supporting social justice, equality, and access to basic needs such as food, water, and education.

A deep belief in human-dignity and freedom as a birthright, as well as in our joint responsibility to become participants in the fight for social equity and justice, have been Shyamalan’s driving force in creating and steering the efforts of the foundation. With an international upbringing and global perspective, Shyamalan has developed a keen awareness of the power of poverty to determine the life course of individuals, families, and communities by severely limiting opportunity and choice. The foundation leaders work to eliminate those barriers. More recently, Shyamalan has focused her foundation on helping the most disenfranchised communities; the forgotten and “disposable’ people entrapped and exploited by modern day slavery and human trafficking. 

Shyamalan oversees the foundation’s international grants, the implementation of its vision and mission, strategic growth, fundraising, and overall operations.

Earlier in her career, Shyamalan worked as a therapist in the counseling centers of Swarthmore College and St. Joseph’s University. Shyamalan earned her doctorate in Clinical Developmental Psychology from Bryn Mawr College and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New York University. 

For more information, visit cabrini.edu/commencement.

About Cabrini University

Founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cabrini University is a Catholic institution that empowers students to become advocates of social change through an Education of the Heart, focusing on academic excellence, community engagement, and leadership development.

Cabrini enrolls approximately 1,300 undergraduates in more than 35 majors, pre-professional programs, concentrations, and minors on its serene 112-acre campus located 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The University also enrolls 900 students in graduate, doctoral, and professional studies programs at its main campus in Radnor, PA, and at five off-campus locations.