PHILADELPHIA, PA - Tracy Davidson, Emmy award-winning journalist, motivational speaker, and a graduate student in the College’s holistic spirituality program will deliver the 87th Commencement address on Saturday, May 10, at 11 a.m. at the College.
Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees will be awarded to alumna C. Maury Devine ’72, who served as the chairman of the board, president and managing director at ExxonMobil Norway Inc. from 1996 until her retirement in 2000 and to alumna Rita Schwartz’63, a tireless advocate for Catholic education who serves as the president of the Association of Catholic School Teachers (ACT) and as the president of the National Association of Catholic School Teachers. Tracy Davidson will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the College.
Tracy Davidson joined WCAU in 1996 as news anchor and consumer reporter. Davidson has earned five Emmys, including the prestigious “Best News Anchor” Emmy for the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2008. The Philadelphia Business Journal and the National Association of Women Business Owners honored her in 2004 with “The Woman of Distinction” award.
As the area’s leading consumer advocate, Ms. Davidson has created and hosted hundreds of community events such as NBC10’s “Get a Job Events,” “The Great Shredder Event,” and the “The Money School.”
Davidson also has a passion for motivational speaking, sharing her knowledge on a variety of topics including: “Choosing Happiness in the Workplace,” “Focus Your Attention, Focus your Life,” and “Define your Brand.” Devoting much of her personal time to causes close to her heart, she has been honored by Laurel House and Vera House for her support and dedication to victims of domestic violence. Ms. Davidson has served as the honorary chair of the March of Dimes for more than ten years.
In 2011, Neumann University awarded her with an honorary doctorate. Davidson graduated from Temple University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and in 2009 she was chosen by Temple University to receive the 2009 Diamond Excellence Award.
Tracey J. Davidson is a member of St. Matthias Church in Bala Cynwyd where she serves as a Eucharistic Minister. In 2008, she completed a religious studies certificate at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., and will be graduating with a master’s degree in holistic spirituality on May 10th from Chestnut Hill College.
C. Maury Devine is a 1972 graduate of Chestnut Hill College. She served as president and managing director of Mobil Corporation's Norwegian affiliate, ExxonMobil Norway, Inc., from 1996 to 2000 and as such, was the first woman to head a European oil company. Preceding the merger of ExxonMobil, she served as secretary of the board of directors of Mobil Corporation from 1994 to 1996. From 1990 to 1994, Maury Devine managed Mobil's international government relations. Prior to joining Mobil in 1988, she served for 15 years with the U.S. Government in positions at the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice.
In addition to her impressive career with the U.S. Government and ExxonMobilNorway, Devine served as vice chairman at Det Norske VeritasPte Ltd and Det Norske Veritas (DNV) from 2000 to 2010, and has been an independent director at FMC Technologies, Inc., since 2005. She has been a director of John Bean Technologies Corporation since 2008 and Technip since 2011.
In 2000, Ms. Devine was named as a Caspian Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School's research, teaching, and training in international security affairs, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. Devine also co-authored, “The Harvard Guide to Influential Books: 113 Distinguished Harvard Professors Discuss the Books That Have Helped to Shape Their Thinking” (Harper & Row, 1986) and “The Harvard Guide to Reading for the Future” (C.M.Devine, 1985).
Ms. Devine serves on the board of directors of Norwegian, a multinational corporation and DNV (Det Norske Veritas). She also serves on the boards of the Friends of the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Washington Jesuit Academy and the National Foreign Language Center, and has served on the Development Advisory Board of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. She is currently director of The Woodstock Center at Georgetown University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ms. Devine earned a Master of Arts degree in French in 1974 from Middlebury College, a Master of Arts in journalism in 1981 from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Public Administration degree in 1985 from Harvard University.
Rita Schwartz is a 1963 graduate of Chestnut Hill College, earning a bachelor’s degree in history. Ms. Schwartz is the president of the Association of Catholic School Teachers (ACT), Local 1776, which represents lay teachers employed in the high schools operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She also serves as the president of the National Association of Catholic School Teachers, a union-affiliated with locals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Dioceses of Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg and Pittsburgh.
A product of Catholic schools, Ms. Schwartz attended St. Matthew School, and Raven Hill Academy, where she was valedictorian of her class. A woman of many talents, she taught English and French as well as history at St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls for 12 years. After having served on staff of the Catholic Teachers’ Union, she was elected president in 1978. Through the years, she has been the principal negotiator for the lay teachers’ contracts with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. During her tenure as president, Ms. Schwartz introduced a scholarship from ACT for the top freshman student in each high school of the Archdiocese to continue on in that school, thereby assuring that the best and brightest remains in the catholic school system.
In her role as president of the National Association of Catholic School Teachers, Ms. Schwartz has established yearly national conventions featuring speakers in all arenas of education and labor issues. In its inception, Rita promoted the need for a Catholic Teachers Union. Along with John Riley, the union’s first president, she was the impetus to stress the need for Philadelphia businesses to get involved with the promotion and financial support of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, creating Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS).
Ms. Schwartz’s life has been and remains dedicated to Catholic education and to the lay teachers who are now the backbone of that system in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and several other dioceses across the United States.