Four honorary degrees will be bestowed at 152nd Commencement
Bryant University will bestow honorary degrees on four distinguished individuals at its 152nd Commencement exercises May 14 and 16:
- David Maraniss, an award-winning journalist and author who will address graduating seniors and guests at Bryant's undergraduate exercises on May 16;
- Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of Rhode Island Foundation. A civic leader and champion of innovation in Rhode Island, he will speak at the Graduate School of Business and Graduate Programs in Arts and Sciences ceremony on May 14;
- Michael E. Fisher '67, former member and chairman of the Bryant Board of Trustees and one of the most generous alumni in all of Bryant's history;
- Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of CVS/pharmacy, who is shaping the nation's healthcare landscape through innovation.
David Maraniss is associate editor at The Washington Post. In addition to Barack Obama: The Story, Maraniss is the author of several critically acclaimed books including First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; When Pride Still Mattered, the biography of Vince Lombardi; Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero; and They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967. He is also author of Into the Story: A Writer’s Journey Through Life, Politics, Sports and Loss, and The Clinton Enigma.
Maraniss is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and received the Pulitzer for national reporting in 1993 for his coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. He was part of The Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper's coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Maraniss has won several prestigious awards for additional achievements in journalism, including the George Polk Award, the Dirksen Prize for Congressional Reporting, the John Hancock Award for Business Writing, the J. Anthony Book Prize, the Frankfurt Book Prize, the Eagleton Book Prize, and the Ambassador Book Prize.
Michael E. Fisher ’67
As one of Bryant’s most dedicated servants, Michael E. Fisher ’67 has generously shared his wisdom through service as a member and as Chair of the Bryant Board of Trustees. He and his wife, Karen, are among the most generous philanthropists in Bryant history; in September 2013, Bryant's Fisher Student Center was named in their honor.
His distinguished career in the financial services arena included leadership positions as the managing director and chief executive officer of the U.S. Defined Benefit Business of Barclays Global Investors and managing director and head of institutional business for Strong Capital Management. He previously served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Equitable Life Insurance Society, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the investment management group of Bankers Trust Company, and senior vice president and chief marketing officer with Chase Investors Management Corporation.
Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of CVS/pharmacy, has been recognized as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business, and was ranked as the 26th most powerful businesswoman in the U.S. by Fortune this year.
Over the course of her 20-year career with CVS, currently the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States, Foulkes has played a key leadership role in growing the company from its retail roots to its position as industry leader. She has built an extensive record of accomplishment in retail and health care marketing and strategy, and is credited with numerous innovations including groundbreaking pharmacy health care programs the largest retail loyalty program in the country, ExtraCare, which has more than 70 million active cardholders.
In her current position, she has responsibility for all aspects of retail business for CVS, including its more than 7,700 retail stores and 18 distribution centers and e-commerce sites, as well as merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store, and pharmacy operations. In addition, Foulkes manages the company’s enterprise digital, brand, and communications teams. Prior to joining CVS in 1992, Foulkes worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Tiffany & Co. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Neil Steinberg is a champion for innovation and President and CEO of Rhode Island Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and largest community foundations and the most generous funder of the Ocean State's nonprofit sector.
Rhode Island Foundation was organized in 1916 by a small group of prominent citizens. "There is a growing belief that the charitable problems of each generation can better be, and should be, solved by the best minds of each generation," the founders wrote. Steinberg has frequently answered the call to service at a wide range of community organizations, including the board of trustees of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Commodores.