The College of Saint Elizabeth will confer two honorary doctoral degrees at its 110th Commencement Exercises, May 12, 2012.
This year's Commencement address will be given by Sister Margaret Ann O’Neill, S.C., Sister of Charity of Saint Elizabeth since 1956. Sr. Peggy has been living in El Salvador for the past 25 years, during which time she was an active member of the Pastoral Team, Santa Lucia Parish Suchitoto. She is the director of Centro Arte para la Paz (Center of Arts for Peace), a regional educational cultural center promoting peace through dance, art, and theological reflection, in Suchitoto, El Salvador. Sr. Peggy founded this healing space in 2006 and works toward building a culture of peace using the arts as a vehicle. A highly respected long-time peace activist, Sr. Peggy has received many honors and awards including the 2008 Peacemaker Award of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, recognizing her many years of peace efforts in El Salvador and honoring her “contribution to peace making and work for justice.” Also, in 2008 she received the Ciudadana Ilustre Award, for her work on behalf of social and cultural development in Suchitoto.
Sister Peggy earned a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from Marquette University and an Ed.D. in Religious Education from New York University. A lifelong educator her entire professional career in both the USA and El Salvador, Sr. Peggy served as assistant professor of Augsburg College, Center for Global Education and at Santa Clara University, Casa de Solidaridad in the Jesuit University, El Salvador. For many years she also served as associate professor of Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
In recognition of her remarkable humanitarian work and vision in promoting a culture of peace through the arts in a country that has been torn by war, poverty and violence, the College of Saint Elizabeth is honored to award on Sr. Margaret Ann O’Neill the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa.
Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, will be awarded to Maud Peper Dahme a Holocaust survivor and the subject of a documentary film, The Hidden Child. She is the past president of the New Jersey State Board of Education, where she served from 1983 to 2007. She is a highly respected leader in the field of education who has dedicated her life to the Holocaust and genocide education. As a member of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education since 1982, Dahme uses her own life story to ensure that the Holocaust never be forgotten by teaching students to accept their differences.
In April 2011, during a special education program co-sponsored by the College of Saint Elizabeth Holocaust Education Resource Center, Dahme shared her own story of courage, bravery, and hope with a special screening of the NJN-produced film of a one-hour documentary, The Hidden Child. The film tells the story of six-year old Dahme who, along with her sister, was separated from their parents and spent the entire German occupation of their native country, The Netherlands, in hiding. In 2007, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education founded the Maud Dahme Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated the moral courage and sense of humanity as an “up stander” in defending others.
In addition to her Holocaust work, Dahme is a champion for children of migrant workers and served as a member of the Interstate Migrant Educational Council, which she chaired in 1998 and 2007.
For her work in advancing human and civil rights, she received the Martin Luther King Human Rights Award in 2001 from the New Jersey Education Association. Dahme also received the H. Council Trenholm Award from the National Education Association and many other rewards. In recognition of her extraordinary leadership in education, the College of Saint Elizabeth is honored to award Maud Dahme the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa.
For more information about the CSE commencement, click http://www.cse.edu/commencement/.