Anita Hill to Deliver Commencement Address at MCLA

Painter Stephen Hannock Among Those Honored.

By: - Apr 01, 2010

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will celebrate its 111th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 22, 2010, beginning at 11 a.m., in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium.Anita F. Hill, Attorney and Brandeis University Professor of Law, Public Policy, and WomenÂ’s Studies, will deliver the keynote address to the members of the class of 2010 who will receive their BachelorsÂ’ and MastersÂ’ degrees and Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) at the ceremony. Hill will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Receiving honorary degrees this year will be business executive and former MCLA Trustee Foster Devereux who will receive an honorary Doctor of PublicService, Academy Award-winning painter Stephen Hannock who will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, and MCLA alumna, educator, and community volunteer Josetta Owen Â’65 who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities.

In recognition of their awards, the honorary degree recipients will have
books placed in MCLAÂ’s Freel Library in their names.

President Mary K. Grant said “I am so pleased to recognize the
achievements of these remarkable individuals. Each does important and
significant work that identifies them as leaders in their respective
fields of endeavor. Their achievements – be it Anita Hill’s
accomplishments as an attorney, educator, and champion of equality, Foster DevereuxÂ’s tireless dedication to public higher education, the creative economy, and economic development and revitalization in our region.

Stephen HannockÂ’s innovative and breathtaking artwork, or Jo OwenÂ’s
commitment to service at home and abroad – mark them as individuals for our students and graduates to be inspired by and emulate. I cannot wait to honor each of them at this year’s Commencement.

MCLA Board of Trustees Chair Jane Allen applauded those who will be honored.“Anita Hill is a woman of rare accomplishment and insight,” Allen said. “Foster Devereux is a great friend to MCLA, and to so many other venues in Berkshire County. Stephen Hannock is part of that long tradition of world class artists who have called our region home. And Josetta Owen demonstrates that when matched to a compassionate and committed heart, MCLA’s proud liberal arts tradition truly can make the world a better place.”

Anita F. Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980.  She began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C., with a focus on banking law and litigation. Before becoming a law professor, she worked as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Education Department and the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

In 1991, Anita Hill was thrust into the public spotlight when she
testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation
hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Clarence Thomas. After the hearing, she began speaking to audiences throughout the United States and internationally about social and political problems facing the world.    

Professor Hill has written commentary for Time, Inc., Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine and appears regularly on national television programs including Good Morning America, Meet the Press, The Today Show, The Tavis Smiley Show and Larry King Live. 

Professor Hill recently received the Ford Hall ForumÂ’s First Amendment Award for her promotion of gender and race equality. She is especially proud of receiving the Fletcher Fellowship for her work aimed at ending educational disparities among poor and minority students. That award was created in 2004 on the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education and is given to institutions and individuals working to fulfill the goals of that landmark decision.

Foster Devereux served as an officer and director of Allen and Company, a New York-based investment banking firm. He is a graduate of Williams College.

Devereux is a member of the Alumni Council of the Kent School in Kent, CT.He is a former president of the Williams College Alumni Association ofFairfield County and a former member of the Williams College Alumni Association Executive Committee.

Stephen Hannock is an American luminist painter known for his landscape work. His work graces the collections of museums and collectors worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

HannockÂ’s style is rooted in the tradition of landscape painting in Europe and the United States in the late 1800s, but reflects a unique creative point of view through his technique and use of color. His work conveys an unmistakable sense of place, as well as an indelible sense of his own presence in and experience of the landscapes he depicts. While rooted in tradition, his artistic practice continues to evolve. He blends attention to detail with pure spontaneity to achieve his creative vision.