RADNOR, Pa. (March 24, 2014) – Lisa Johnson Nutter, president of Philadelphia Academies, Inc., will address bachelor’s degree candidates and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters at Cabrini College’s undergraduate Commencement at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 18.
Michael O’Neill, co-founder and chair of the Philadelphia School Partnership, will address master’s degree candidates and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters at the College’s graduate Commencement, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 18.
The College will award bachelor’s degrees to more than 325 undergraduates and master’s degrees to approximately 545 graduate students. This year marks Cabrini’s 54th Commencement exercises.
Since 2005, Nutter has led Philadelphia Academies, Inc. toward the goal of preparing high school students for the 21st century economy and expanding life and economic options to these students.
Nutter, Philadelphia’s First Lady, received the 2008 Ivy Young Willis Award presented annually to a woman who has made outstanding contributions in public affairs. Other notables who received the award include Cokie Roberts, Risa Vetri Ferman and the late Happy Fernandez.
Nutter’s diverse professional experience shapes her work with youth and her belief that education is a central factor in individual and community economic stability. She focuses on strengthening the existing skills of a young person to support their transition to adulthood, through youth programming that links learning to the real world and promotes resiliency.
Actively engaged in local and national issues related to social change and youth development, Nutter serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, Big Picture Philadelphia and the Institute for Educational Leadership. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.
Nutter has a bachelor of science in psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a master of arts in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael O’Neill is committed to ensuring that every child in Philadelphia has access to a quality education. He says, “Education in Philadelphia is both the single greatest risk and the single greatest opportunity for our future.”
O’Neill cofounded and sits as chairman of The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP), created to build the highest performing school system of charter, private, Catholic, and public schools. Over the last three years, O’Neill and PSP have created 14,000 more seats for children from low-performing and often violent school environments to schools that show achievements at, or on their way, to the equivalent of state and national averages, helping to close the achievement gap.
O’Neill is also on the Executive Committee of Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), an independent charitable organization committed to giving children of all incomes, races, ethnicities and religions access to a high quality, values-based education in Philadelphia. He is also a board member of Mastery Charter Schools, and chair of the High Tech High Philadelphia Foundation.
The culmination of 20 years of investing in urban education through scholarships, renovation grants, and perseverance, O’Neill is a primary driving force behind the necessary improvements being made to the Philadelphia schooling system.
O’Neill currently serves as founder and chief executive officer of Preferred Sands, a privately held investment/operating company. Previously, he served as CEO of Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc., a full-service real estate development firm he founded in 1992. Prior to that O’Neill began his career with First Pennsylvania Bank in 1984 with a focus on lending to aggregate and mining process companies.
O’Neill holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Villanova University and a Juris Doctorate from Temple University.
About Cabrini College Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming learners of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds.
Since its founding in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College has provided a transformational Education of the Heart, focusing on academic excellence, leadership development, and a commitment to social justice.
Cabrini enrolls about 1,300 undergraduates in more than 30 majors, pre‑professional programs, concentrations and minors on its serene 112‑acre campus located 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The College also enrolls about 1,400 students in graduate and professional studies programs at its main campus in Radnor, Pa., and at 13 off‑site locations.