New York Mets manager Willie Randolph will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2007 at Fordham University’s 162nd Commencement on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m. on the Rose Hill campus.
Randolph, who had an accomplished 18-year playing career, led the Mets to within one game of the World Series last year. He has managed the team since 2004. His daughter Ciara, a Fordham College at Rose Hill senior, will be among the graduates on May 19.
Randolph grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the seventh round of the 1972 amateur draft. He spent 13 of his 18 seasons as a player with the New York Yankees, and was part of teams that won two World Series championships as a player and four more as a coach.
Randolph will receive a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, at the ceremony, along with William F. Baker, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Educational Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of Thirteen/WNET New York and WLIW21 New York; John L. Damonti, M.S.W. (GSS ’85), president of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and vice president of corporate philanthropy at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Catherine R. Kinney, president and co-chief operating officer of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext; His Excellency Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; and Joseph Volpe, senior vice president of Giuliani Partners LLC and former general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. Richard Goldstone, LL.B., former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, will be awarded a doctorate of laws, honoris causa.
William F. Baker has been at the head of the Educational Broadcasting Company since 1987. Under his leadership, Thirteen created the The Charlie Rose Show discussion program, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, and the Peabody and Emmy award-winning local series City Arts and City Life. An author and lecturer, he is a well-known advocate for the educational potential of television.
John L. Damonti, GSS ’85, has more than 20 years of experience working in the areas of health policy, community relations and philanthropy. He has been at Bristol-Myers Squibb since 1999, where he leads a major initiative known as Secure the Future, which is the largest corporate commitment of its kind to address issues related to HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Richard Goldstone served on the South African Constitutional Court from 1994 to 2003 and in the early 1990s chaired South Africa’s Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation, which helped undermine the system of apartheid. He also served as the first chief prosecutor of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Goldstone was a visiting professor at Fordham Law School in 2004.
Catherine R. Kinney oversees the New York Stock Exchange’s relationship with member firms and institutions, as well as its listings business and market operations. Kinney joined the NYSE in 1974 and rose through the ranks,
holding management positions in several divisions. She is a member of the boards of the NYSE Foundation, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, Georgetown University, U.S. India Business Council and Catholic Charities.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore was nominated Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Since his ordination in 1977, he has served the Vatican in Africa, Europe, traveled widely throughout Asia, and has championed the global fight against the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, advocated for workers’ rights and people with AIDS, and campaigned against poverty.
Joseph Volpe spent 42 years at the Metropolitan Opera, the last 16 as its general manager. His tenure as general manager is the third longest in the Met’s 124-year history, and he has the distinction of being the only person to have risen through the company’s ranks to its highest executive post. Volpe greatly expanded the Met’s international touring activities and conceived “Met Titles,” a unique system that provides title screens for audience members. He is the author of a memoir, The Toughest Show on Earth: My Rise and Reign at the Metropolitan Opera (Knopf, 2006).
By Victor M. Inzunza