Humanitarian and nurse Alix (Comeau) Dorsainvil ’14 will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Regis College’s Class of 2024 Commencement Exercises on Sat., May 11. The university will also bestow honorary degrees upon Charlotte Wagner, social justice philanthropic leader, and Dr. Alix Cantave, senior program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Dorsainvil, a 2014 graduate from the Regis Young School of Nursing and registered nurse from New Hampshire, serves as a community health care nurse at El Roi Haiti, a Christian humanitarian aid organization. Beloved by her community for her transformational work, she is described as a “mother” to her patients. She first visited Haiti after the 2010 earthquake while attending Regis. Dorsainvil moved to Haiti permanently in 2019 after many trips to the country and began working as a staff nurse at El Roi Haiti in 2020.
Dorsainvil and her young daughter were kidnapped during the summer of 2023 and released after 13 days in captivity. In her video message after her release, she forgave her captors and praised her faith for supporting her during the difficult time.
“Through her words, actions and generous capacity for forgiveness, Alix Dorsainvil manifests the Regis College mission that emphasizes love and service to the Dear Neighbor,” said Regis President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN. “As advocates for improving the lives of those in the greatest of need in Haiti, all three of this year’s honorary degree recipients are compassionate and selfless individuals who demonstrate the very best of humanity and are role models for our students.”
“As an undergraduate student at Regis, I was inspired by the university’s call to serve all without distinction, and to love like Jesus,” said Dorsainvil. “That call, with the Lord’s leading, was the catalyst for my work in Haiti to care for the sick and heal the injured. Through many incredible opportunities I received from Regis, including a trip to Kenya sponsored by the Erat Scholarship, I discovered a deep passion for serving those in need. I am honored to deliver the 2024 Commencement address, to share the enduring value my Regis education carries to my service as a healthcare provider in a country where many resources are scarce. While the country of Haiti may be economically poor, the people are rich in love, strength, and faith.”
Charlotte Wagner is Founder and President of Wagner Foundation, a Cambridge, MA-based foundation that works across the globe to understand challenges, work within systems, and balance immediate and long-term needs across their focus areas of health equity, economic prosperity and cultural transformation. Rooted in a commitment to addressing social and historical disparities, the foundation accompanies organizations aligned with this goal, advocates for change, and convenes thought leaders. The foundation supports the Regis in Haiti program with grants totaling nearly $1.5 million for the advancement of the nursing profession in Haiti, including the establishment a new Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the country. Wagner believes that investment in nurses builds long-term capacity and healthcare for citizens of Haiti.
Wagner also serves on President Joe Biden's Advisory Committee on the Arts, is the President of the Board at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and holds positions as a Trustee on the Boards of Partners In Health and VIA Art Fund. Prior to her philanthropic focus, she held positions at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Fidelity Investments, and Tribune Media Services. Wagner earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and an A.B. from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Alix Cantave is a senior program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he is responsible for identifying and nurturing positive, systemic change within communities and implementing a micro regional strategy in Haiti. In 2015, he was instrumental in securing an award from the foundation to benefit the Regis Haiti Project.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2011, Dr. Cantave was the associate director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he established and managed a consortium of colleges and universities to support the rebuilding and improvement of higher education in Haiti. He received the Pope Francis Charity and Leadership Award by Caritas in Veritate in 2017 for dedicated leadership to improve the lives of children and families in Central and South Haiti. Cantave earned a doctorate in public policy from the University of Massachusetts; master’s in city and regional planning from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York; and a bachelor’s in environmental design from SUNY in Buffalo, New York.
At the 94th commencement ceremony on May 11, Regis expects to graduate more than 1,000 students, including more than 600 nursing students, awarding degrees from the associate to doctoral levels. The ceremony will take place in the Boston Seaport at the Leader Bank Pavilion.