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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (May 19, 2002) – If life has taught Xerox C.E.O. and Chairwoman Anne M. Mulcahy anything, it is that change, while often wrenching, is inevitable and ultimately exciting, she said at Marymount College’s 78th Commencement on Sunday, May 19.

“The only thing I can predict about your lives with any certainty is that change will be a constant,” she said. “Back in 1974, when I sat where you are sitting today, there were no cell phones. The Internet was not even the stuff of dreams … [and]women C.E.O.s were nonexistent. … Embrace change willingly and with a sense of excitement and wonder. … Learn to love it. Make it your ally.”

Mulcahy, who is charged with orchestrating the recovery of the Stamford, Conn.-based company, is one of only five women running Fortune 500 companies. She told 170 graduates and their families that she was “thrilled” to be back at Marymount and excited about the promise of the school’s future.

“I commend the Marymount community for taking this bold step [in consolidating with Fordham University],” she said. “It’s very similar to what we are doing at Xerox – changing to meet the needs of a dynamic world while fiercely fighting to hold on to our values and traditions. … I have no doubt that Marymount and Fordham will both emerge stronger – that the total of this new partnership will be even greater than the sum of its parts.”

Mulcahy, who received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, also advised students to have fun, choose a career that they enjoy and to “cherish and nurture your human connections, your friends and family. … At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, not closing one more deal. These are all transitory victories,” she said. “What you will regret if you’re not careful is that you didn’t spend more time with a spouse, a friend, a child, a parent.”

In presenting Mulcahy’s honorary doctorate, Mary Ann Quaranta, D.S.W., provost of Marymount College, recognized Mulcahy for her “distinguished accomplishments in the business world and her commitment to her alma mater.” Mulcahy’s dedication to the women’s Catholic college includes serving on the Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1998. Her accomplishments in the business world include service as the newly appointed chairwoman of the board and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation, after a career with the company spanning a quarter-century. As Xerox’s new leader, Mulcahy is being hailed for the success she has achieved thus far. Quaranta echoed the accolades. “Anne is responsible for putting together one of Xerox’s largest acquisitions. … She has been known to crisscross the country to meet new employees and renew their commitment to Xerox,” said Quaranta. “Anne is often praised for her decisiveness and willingness to embrace change as she implements her vision of Xerox.”

Two other business leaders and longtime friends of Marymount also received honorary degrees at the ceremony. In presenting an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Anthony J. Dalessio, Quaranta praised him as a “listener and consensus builder. … His visionary leadership in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds tells a consistent story not only of teamwork and empowerment but also of very significant accomplishments.” Dalessio joined Texaco Inc. in 1959 and earned the title vice president of Texaco Europe for manufacturing and marketing in 1982, a position he held until his retirement in 1994. He first served on Marymount’s Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1992. He rejoined as chairman of the board in 1996 and was instrumental in steering Marymount toward its upcoming consolidation with Fordham University on July 1, 2002.

In bestowing upon Anne M. Slattery an honorary doctorate of humane letters, Quaranta cited the “enormous energy, strategic vision and executive skills” Slattery has brought to Marymount’s endeavors. Slattery graduated from Marymount College in 1969 and began a career in banking that would span 28 years, first at Citibank and later at Fleet, where she ran the single largest division of Fleet Financial Group.

She began service on Marymount’s Board of Trustees in 1998, and from 1999 to 2001 served as president of the college, playing a critical role in planning the consolidation with Fordham University. “Anne captivated others with her vision and the possibilities of building on Marymount’s strength as a women’s college and as a pioneer in international education,” said Quaranta.

Effective July 1, 2002, Marymount College will consolidate with Fordham University to create a new model of a Catholic women’s college, one that will enjoy the academic and administrative resources of a major university while retaining the character of a small, liberal arts college. This union builds upon a long relationship between the two institutions and promises to strengthen Marymount’s religious and intellectual traditions.


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