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SMC announces ’72 graduate as commencement speaker

Zook, Nicole | Monday, April 11, 2005

It won’t be the first time the women in a Saint Mary’s graduating class will hear words of wisdom from a distinguished former Belle at commencement.Janet Endress Squires, M.D., director of the division of child advocacy for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, professor of pediatric medicine at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine and 1972 graduate, will deliver the 2005 commencement address May 14.Squires joins a list of notable Saint Mary’s women who have retu-rned to their alma mater to give such a speech, including author and 2003 speaker Adriana Trigiani and last year’s speaker, vice president of Xerox Diane Daly McGarry.Marketing Communications director Nick Farmer said he believes Squires is an excellent choice for graduation speaker and will greatly add to the ceremony.”Saint Mary’s is proud to welcome Dr. Squires back to campus,” he said. “She’s a prominent physician, an educator and a strong voice for children, and I think she’ll offer an inspiring message to the class of 2005.”Squires has been recognized nationally for her work with abused children and children with HIV after serving as director of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s pediatric HIV clinic, program for Referral and Evaluation of Abused Children (REACH) and division chief of the University’s General Academic Pediatrics. Squires received awards from the Texas Pediatric Society, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Business Journal and Children’s Miracle Network. She will receive an honorary degree from Saint Mary’s in May.Also receiving degrees are Sister Marian Teresa Gomes, CSC and Heifer Project International.Gomes is the former area VII coordinator for the Holy Cross Sisters and the president of Holy Cross College in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Under Gomes’ direction, Holy Cross was recognized as the best university in Bangladesh in 2003.As an organization, the Heifer Project is an unusual choice for award recipient. The humanitarian non-profit agency began in Elkhart in 1944 and has since benefited poor families in 115 countries by giving them livestock, food and agricultural training. Many Saint Mary’s students and faculty have been involved with the program.Executive Assistant to the President Susan Dampeer called the Project “an extraordinary charity” and said while the College has never awarded an honorary degree to an organization before, Heifer Project International is certainly worthy of the honor.”Saint Mary’s has a huge commitment to service, and I think that the fact that our students recommended [Heifer Project International] really shows how much we value service,” she said.