Constantino “Tino” Martinez, two-time All-Star first baseman and key contributor to four New York Yankees’ World Series wins, will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2014 and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at Fordham University’s 169th Commencement, to be held Saturday, May 17, at the Rose Hill campus. At the ceremony Fordham will award honorary degrees to eight people who have made outstanding contributions in business, law, philanthropy, social service, the sciences, and professional sports.
Fordham will award honorary doctorates of laws to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Denny Chin, LAW ’78, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Also receiving doctorates of humane letters will be Fordham trustee Stephen E. Bepler, FCRH ’64, a longtime supporter of the University who recently retired as senior vice president with Capital Research Global Investors, where he had worked since 1972; Yvonne Cagle, M.D., a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and NASA senior astronaut physician and researcher; Sister Mary Alice Hannan, O.P., former executive director of Part of the Solution, a social service agency in the Bronx; Nemir Kirdar, GBA ’72, the founder, executive chairman and CEO of the global investment group Investcorp; and Reynold Levy, former president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Chin will give the keynote address at the Fordham Law School diploma ceremony and Kirdar will give the address at the Graduate School of Business Administration diploma ceremony, both of which will be held Monday, May 19, at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Cagle will give the keynote address at the diploma ceremony for the Graduate School of Social Service, to be held Thursday, May 22, at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.
Constantino “Tino” Martinez was a four-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2001, the highlight of a distinguished Major League Baseball career. Martinez won the Silver Slugger Award in 1997, played on the gold-medal winning U.S. baseball team at the Summer Olympics in 1988, and was inducted last year into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Since his retirement in 2005 he has been a special adviser and spring-training assistant for the Yankees, a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins, a sports broadcaster, and a volunteer assistant coach at the college level. In June, he will be honored with a plaque in Monument Park highlighting his career as a New York Yankee. Among the members of the Class of 2014 Martinez will be addressing is his daughter, Olivia, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill.
Stephen E. Bepler and his wife, Kim B. Bepler, are among the most generous supporters of Fordham in its history. They have created scholarships, supported science education and the Fordham Fund, and contributed to the restoration of the University Church and installation of the new Maior Dei Gloria church organ. In addition, their gifts established the Karl Rahner, S.J., Memorial Chair in Theology and the John D. Boyd, S.J., Chair in Poetic Imagination. In 2007, they were honored with the Fordham Founder’s Award, given to those whose lives reflect the highest aspirations of the University’s defining traditions.
Yvonne Cagle, M.D., has made many important contributions to research in the sciences, technology, and human health. Today she serves at NASA’s Ames Research Center as lead astronaut science liaison and strategic relationships manager for Google and other industry collaborations in Silicon Valley. According to NASA, she has performed “groundbreaking work” by “galvanizing NASA’s lead in global mapping, sustainable energies, green initiatives, and disaster preparedness.” She has also begun a research partnership with Fordham focused on human health and performance.
Denny Chin has won numerous awards for judicial excellence and presided over many high-profile cases as a federal judge. Among them were the case of Bernard L. Madoff, to whom Chin gave a 150-year sentence, as well as cases involving the Million Youth March, the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Program, and Google’s mass digitization of copyrighted books. He was a prosecutor, and later, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York before President Barack Obama chose him for his current appellate post in 2009.
Sister Mary Alice Hannan, O.P., greatly expanded the services at Part of the Solution in the Bronx while working there from 1996 to 2011, when she retired as executive director. Under her leadership, Part of the Solution was transformed from a soup kitchen into an agency providing freshly prepared meals as well as legal counseling and other services. Today it is one of the largest emergency food programs in New York City and a place that affords the homeless a greater sense of dignity. Sister Hannan also founded Desda’s Grate, a shelter in New Rochelle, N.Y., for homeless women and their children.
Nemir Kirdar has earned a reputation as a brilliant and principled executivefor his leadership of Investcorp, a firm that he founded in 1982 to link surplus funds in the Arabian Gulf and nontraditional investment opportunities in the United States and Western Europe. He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, a speaker at international forums, and the author of three books, including one focused on the restoration of his native Iraq. Kirdar is a member of the Council for Arab and International Relations, among his many affiliations.
Reynold Levy played a pivotal role in the transformation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during his 11 years as its president—not only leading the capital campaign in support of its $1.2 billion redevelopment, but also overseeing the revitalization of its programming, the expansion of its campus, and many other initiatives. He has also served as president of the International Rescue Committee, executive director of the 92nd Street Y, and staff director of the task force on the New York City Fiscal Crisis. He is a widely respected expert on philanthropy, fundraising, and management.
Sonia Sotomayor, the third woman and first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, grew up in the housing projects of the Bronx and attended Princeton and Yale Law School. While serving as a prosecutor under former New York County district attorney Robert Morgenthau, she earned a reputation as being fair, ethical, and empathetic, and also willing to fight for the right conclusion in each case. She worked as a private litigator, a trial and appellate judge in the federal court system, and a law professor before President Barack Obama nominated her to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009.