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SMC announces 2016 Commencement speaker

| Thursday, March 17, 2016

Victoria “Tori” Murden McClure, president of Spalding University, will speak at the 169th Saint Mary’s Commencement ceremony, which will take place May 14 on Le Mans Green, according to a College press release. The 350 graduating students represent 31 states and four countries, and three students will be valedictorians, the release said.

McClure is the author of “A Pearl in the Storm,” which documents her adventure across the Atlantic, according to the book’s website. She is best known for being both the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as to ski to the geographic South Pole, the website said. A self-proclaimed explorer, McClure is chair of the board of the National Outdoor Leadership School, according to the website.

Prior to her presidency at Spalding, McClure was a chaplain of Boston City Hospital, a policy assistant to the Mayor of Louisville, Ky. and the director of a shelter for homeless women, the press release said. According to the release, she will be receiving an honorary doctorate of humanities for her commitment to public service.

Along with McClure, Sister Joan Marie Steadman and Portia Prebys will be receiving honorary degrees from the College, the release said.

Steadman will be recognized for her leadership abilities and her mission-focused efforts to preserve the legacies of both the College and the congregation, the press release said. She is the executive director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and a board member of Loyola University Health System in Chicago, according to the release. She also served on the College’s Board of Regents, now known as the Board of Trustees, from 1982 to 2006, and maintained her position during her presidency of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the release said.

Prebys will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities, according to the press release. She serves as the director of Saint Mary’s study abroad program in Rome and will be recognized for her life’s dedication to the cultural exchange between Italy and the United States, the release stated. A ’66 graduate of the College, Prebys received a Fulbright Fellowship to study Renaissance history in Italy, where she currently resides, the press release said.

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