News and Announcements
Children’s Hospital Chief, Communications Master, and Social Justice Advocate to Receive Regis Honorary Degrees May 9March 31, 2015
Regis President Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN, has announced that Sandra L. Fenwick, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, Marjorie Arons-Barron, President, Barron Associates Worldwide, and Karen LaFrazia ’82, Executive Director of Boston’s St. Francis House, will receive honorary degrees at the 85th annual commencement on Saturday, May 9.
Fenwick is the first woman to lead Boston Children’s Hospital and will deliver the commencement address that day. She joined Boston Children’s in 1999, and was promoted to chief operating officer later that year. She added the title of president in 2008, and was named CEO in 2013. As President and CEO, she leads Boston Children's in advancing pediatric health care throughout the region and around the world, working to improve access to safe, quality care for all, and supporting the research and innovative partnerships required to lead the way in creating the future of care.
Before joining Boston Children's, Fenwick worked for 20 years in healthcare administration and strategic planning at Beth Israel Hospital and CareGroup, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Science, with distinction in biology and chemistry, from Simmons College, and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. She has served on numerous boards, including 10 years on the Board of Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization, Inc.
“Sandi is a wonderful, professional role model not only for our women students but for our men too,” said Hays, “at a time when administration generally, whether in hospitals, higher education, or industry, is rapidly changing. I am privileged to have known her for years and delighted that she will be with us at commencement and become a member of the larger Regis community.”
“Given Regis’ growing reputation as a dynamic higher educator for the professions, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to address graduates from across a range of fields and degrees," Fenwick said. "No matter where any of us stands today, the strength of our inter-professional and interdisciplinary collaborations lies at the core of what we do and how we interact with one another.”
Marjorie Arons-Barron, President of Barron Associates Worldwide, has been closely affiliated with Regis since 2001. A communications consultant, she is well known in Greater Boston for her longtime career in both print and broadcast journalism. As the prior Editorial Director of WCVB-TV, Channel 5, for over 20 years, she produced and often hosted Five on Five, a long running public affairs discussion program. She still appears as a commentator on local television, moderates forums, and speaks publicly. Arons-Barron is a three-time recipient of New England Emmy Awards and five-time recipient of a National Award for Excellence in Television Editorials. She graduated with honor from Wellesley College.
“Margie’s ethos, editorial acumen, and communications guidance have been a huge asset to Regis over the years,” said President Hays. “She has become a member of the Regis extended community and friend to this university and, as such, has made extraordinary contributions having a major, constructive impact.”
“I am very pleased to receive this honor,” Arons-Barron said, “and, having accompanied Regis through more than a decade of challenges, opportunities and remarkable growth, I look forward to addressing Regis master’s and doctoral candidates at their academic hooding on May 5 and receiving my Regis hood on May 9.”
Karen LaFrazia is Executive Director of St. Francis House, the largest day shelter in New England, supporting more than 800 poor and homeless men and women a day, 365 days a year. For more than 30 years, she has worked as a counselor, caseworker, advocate, community organizer, and program developer. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s Unsung Heroine Award. LaFrazia graduated from Regis in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and received her master’s in social work from Boston University.
“Karen’s shared commitment to social justice and service to ‘the dear neighbor’ is an inspiration to Regis students, reminding them to keep care for others at the center of their professional success,” said Regis Trustee John Tegan, “As residents of Boston, my late wife Lorraine DeStefano Tegan, class of 1963, and I got to know St. Francis House very well, and what Karen has done is a prime example of the way Regis graduates quietly reach throughout the Commonwealth and the country doing good.”
“I am deeply honored to be so acknowledged by my alma mater,” said LaFrazia. "The Sisters of St. Joseph ignited my passion for social justice and my solid Regis education gave me the skills I needed to be an agent of change throughout my career."
Regis expects to graduate nearly 700 students across a spectrum of degrees ranging from the associate of science to the baccalaureate to the master’s to the doctorate. Founded and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Regis has provided cutting edge higher education to the region and the nation since 1927.