Barry University in Miami, Florida, and Siena Heights in Adrian, Michigan – both founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters –honored the Congregation through the Prioress and General Council during their Commencement ceremonies late April and early May.
During its May 6, 2022, Commencement, Barry University bestowed the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in Absentia on Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, JD, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. She was in Rome, attending the 2022 assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), during the Commencement ceremonies of both universities.
Sister Patricia is the founder and former executive director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law, an initiative advancing laws and policies designed to protect the systems, species and entities that sustain life on Earth and advocating for the recognition that all creatures and natural systems have their own rights to “exist and flourish.”
Also receiving the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters was Joy Taylor, the Commencement speaker, a Barry University Alumna and radio host for FOX Sports; Maximo “Max” Alvarez, an émigré from Cuba, founder and Director of Sunshine Gas Producers, and a generous benefactor to Barry University; Dr. Marvin Dunn, President of the Miami Center for Racial Justice, a racial justice advocate, and an expert on race and ethnic issues; and Cheryl Little, Esq., Co-founder and Executive Director of Americans for Immigrant Justice and an expert on immigration law.
Siena Heights University bestowed Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters on the five members of the General Council on April 29, 2022, the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, during its Honors Convocation. After outstanding students were recognized for their efforts in academics, sports, and service, Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, President of Siena Heights University, bestowed the honorary degrees on Sisters Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress; Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; and Patricia Harvat, OP, and Elise D. García, OP.
Sister Patricia Siemen, on behalf of the General Council and the Adrian Dominican Sisters, thanked Siena Heights University for the honor and for its living out of the Congregation’s mission and vision.
During its May 7, 2022, and May 8, 2022, Commencement ceremonies, Siena Heights will also bestow an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in absentia to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his leadership, courage, sense of justice, and willingness to put his life in harm’s way to defend Ukraine’s freedom.
Contributing to this article were Meredith Amor, Director of Communications and Marketing, Barry University, and Liesel Riggs, Interim Director of Communications at Siena Heights University