Doctor of Laws, Honorary Degree Recipient
Hrair Balian’s career has focused on human rights, conflict resolution, and election monitoring at the international level. He currently serves as the Director of the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia where he is responsible for monitoring international conflicts and coordinating Carter Center initiatives in the Middle East and Africa.
Prior to his work at The Carter Center, he directed the Office of the U.N. Secretary-General’s High Representative for the Elections in Cote d’Ivoire. While there he was responsible for overseeing, facilitating, and certifying democratic elections.
From 1996-1998 he conducted field activities for the International Crisis Group in Bosnia. His responsibilities included identifying activities relating to conflict and developing initiatives to create lasting stability in the region.
He has served for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, where he directed programs in electoral oversight.
He has a juris doctor degree from Golden Gate University in California.
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honorary Degree Recipient
In her career as a journalist and author, Bella English has received more than ten prestigious awards. She has reported for the Miami Herald, the New York Daily News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Boston Globe where she has worked for more than 20 years.
She is the recipient of the second annual Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers for her work on the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team that covered the allegations of clergy sexual abuse. She has also been honored with the Meyer Berger Award, given by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, for the best in-depth, human-interest reporting.
A co-author of the definitive biography of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy, her work has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
Ms. English received her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She holds masters degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Yale University Law School, and has taught journalism at both Boston College and Boston University.
Doctor of Humane Letters, Commencement Speaker
Delfeayo Marsalis, a member of the famed Marsalis family of New Orleans, began playing the trombone at the age of 13 and produced his first recording at 17. He has toured extensively in the United States and Europe and has released three solo CDs. He has performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra, appeared in Ken Burns’ documentary film, Jazz, and is the recipient of the Outstanding Performance Award from the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. A producer with 75 major label recordings to his credit, Marsalis has been recognized with several Grammy awards and nominations. His compositions include scores for television, Broadway, and live performances, and he has written for the ABC mini-series Moon Over Miami, and the New Orleans Ballet productions of Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie. Marsalis has served as the Director of the Foundation for Artistic and Musical Excellence and founded the Uptown Music Theatre in 1997 for 8th-12th graders.
Marsalis received his classical music training at the Eastern Music Festival and the Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts. He attended the Berklee College of Music where he majored in musical performance and audio production and received an M.A. in Jazz Performance from the University of Louisville.