Honorary Degree Recipients
In keeping with the College’s long standing tradition of awarding an honorary degree to the Commencement Speaker, Greg Boyle, SJ will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Last year, we began what we hope will become a tradition – awarding honorary degrees to alumni who serve as an example of the power of a Rosemont education and degree. This year the College will award honorary doctorates of humane letters to: Margaretta Richardi ’48, Delories Richardi ’53, and Charles McGarvey ’01.
Fr. Boyle, the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, in Los Angeles, California, will serve as this year’s Commencement speaker. Father Boyle is a member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and was ordained a priest in 1984. In 1986, after a year living and working with Christian Base Communities in Bolivia, Fr. Boyle was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles, located amidst two large public housing projects and the territory of numerous rival gangs. In an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of at-risk, gang-involved youth, Fr. Boyle and many parish and community members began to establish positive outlets, including an alternative school and a day-care program, and seek legitimate employment for these young men and women. Fr. Boyle’s 2010 New York Times bestselling book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, received the 2010 Southern California Indie Booksellers Association (SCIBA) Non-Fiction Book Award and was named as one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly. It was also chosen as Rosemont College‘s First Year Connection Seminar (FYCS) book this academic year.
Each year over 10,000 formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women come through Homeboy Industries’ doors. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship and offered a wide variety of services, ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes and legal services. Full-time employment is offered through an 18-month program that helps homies re-identify who they are in the world and provides job training so they can move on to become contributing members of their communities.
In the aftermath of the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Boyle, having finished a six-year term as the Dolores Mission pastor, launched his first social enterprise business, Homeboy Bakery. Its success created the groundwork for additional social enterprises, including Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery, Homeboy & Homegirl Merchandise, Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Diner at Los Angeles City Hall, and retail presence at farmers’ markets throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Fr. Boyle was a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005 at the personal invitation of First Lady Laura Bush. In 1998, he was a member of the 10-person California delegation to President Clinton’s Summit on Children in Philadelphia. He serves as a consultant to youth service and governmental agencies, policy-makers and employers.
Fr. Boyle is a member of the National Gang Center Advisory Board (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention). He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Center for Juvenile Law and Policy. Previously, he held an appointment to the California Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention.
Fr. Boyle received his Bachelor’s degree in English from Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash.; a Master’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.; and a Master’s degree in Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Calif.
In 2011, Fr. Boyle was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Bon Appétit magazine named him its Humanitarian of the Year in 2007. In 2000, Fr. Boyle was honored with the California Peace Prize by the California Wellness Foundation.
A 1948 graduate of Rosemont College and a 1944 graduate of Merion Mercy Academy, Ms. Richardi has been a loyal supporter of Rosemont College for decades. While a student at Rosemont, she was involved in many campus activities. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Upon graduation, Ms. Richardi became an assistant buyer at Gimbel Brothers in Philadelphia, before joining the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania in 1951 as a service representative. She spent four decades in management at Bell Telephone, eventually retiring in the 1980s from Verizon, Inc.
Ms. Richardi is a former class agent and class secretary, as a well as a former board member and chapter officer of the Alumni Association. She also served as the Co-Chair of the Forum Committee overseeing the College’s non-credit program. In 1993, she received the Bonnie Hilferty Freney Memorial Award for Volunteer Service to the College. In 2000, along with her sister, Delories, Ms. Richardi wrote and published Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Rosemont College, a history of the Chapel. In addition, Ms. Richardi also wrote Rathalla (1990) and Gertrude Kistler Memorial Library (2001); both publications were published by Ms. Richardi and her sister. Ms. Richardi has been a loyal supporter of the College through generous donations to the Annual and Experience Funds, the renovation of Main Building, the Friends of the Library, and various campus renovation projects.
A 1953 graduate of Rosemont College and a 1949 graduate of Merion Mercy Academy, Ms. Richardi has been a loyal supporter and volunteer of Rosemont College for decades. While a student at Rosemont, she was involved in many campus activities and sports. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art. Upon graduation from Rosemont. Ms. Richardi joined the Bell Telephone Company as a service representative. In 1958, she was the editor of the company’s Commercial Department magazine. By 1974, Ms. Richardi was a data systems analyst. She held other management roles until her retirement from Verizon, Inc. in the 1980s.
Ms. Richardi is a former class secretary. An early member of the Friends of the Library, Ms. Richardi worked tirelessly as the College’s honorary archivist for 25 years as a volunteer. In 1994, she received the Bonnie Hilferty Freney Memorial Award for Volunteer Service to the College. In 2000, along with her sister, Margaretta, Ms. Richardi wrote and published Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Rosemont College, a history of the Chapel. Ms. Richardi has been a loyal supporter of the College through generous donations to the Annual and Experience Funds, the renovation of Main Building, the Friends of the Library, and various campus renovation projects.
A 2001 graduate of Rosemont College, Mr. McGarvey attended Rosemont as an adult student of the School of Professional Studies. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Management. Mr. McGarvey joined the Rosemont College community in 1989 as the Director of Public Safety. In 2000, he became the Interim Assistant Business Manager before becoming the Director of Operations in 2001. In 2002, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President of Operations for Rosemont College. A volunteer firefighter with 26 years of service, Mr. McGarvey joined the administration of the Township of Lower Merion as the Deputy Fire Marshal in 2003. In 2005, he was appointed Chief Fire Officer. As Chief his work involves responsibility for the overall operation of the Fire Department, including the coordination of Fire Department activities with other fire departments, public safety agencies, and Township departments. As the Township’s Fire Marshal, Chief McGarvey supervises fire prevention operations, manages the fire alarm and fire drill programs, and supervises the investigation of all fires. Chief McGarvey was the Township’s representative to the Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Main Line program from which he graduated in 2009. He was named the Township’s “Outstanding Senior Manager” in 2010. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he served honorably at the U.S. Embassies in Warsaw, Poland and Helsinki, Finland.
Chief McGarvey holds a Master of Science degree in Public Safety from Saint Joseph’s University. The Township sponsored his participation in the prestigious Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy from which he graduated in 2013. In addition, he holds the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO) from the Commission on Professional Credentialing at the Center for Public Safety Excellence and the MIFireE designation from the Institution of Fire Engineers, United States of America Branch. Proud husband to his wife, Laurie, and father to Izzy and Jack, Chief McGarvey has been a loyal friend to Rosemont and an advocate for the College within the local community.