Arlene McNamee ’68 Citation - Commencement 2015

May 17, 2015


Arlene McNamee ’68, LCSW – Doctor of Humanities

A Licensed Certified Social Worker for more than four decades, you found your life’s calling in the covenant of love and justice. You have worked steadfastly in public welfare agencies, state agencies, and numerous nonprofits to improve the lives of children and the homeless throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.

The daughter of Portuguese immigrants, you were the first in your family to graduate from college. You discovered your passion for helping others while a student at Stonehill, attributing your moment of ephipany to Vatican II, when you embraced the revolutionary changes that would come to define both your professional path and personal beliefs. Deeply insipired, you embarked on a career devoted to social justice.

In 1994, you found your long-time professional home with Cathlolic Social Services within the Diocese of Fall River, which you now serve as executive director. Helping those who face oppression and injustice, you fulfill Christ’s mandate by literally feeding the hungry and clothing the poor.

In 1995, you played a pivotal role in founding CSS’ Community Action for Better Housing to shelter homeless residents in New Bedford’s South End and South Central neighborhoods without regard to religious affiliation. Through your advocacy at local and state levels and your influential testimony before many committees and boards, you have changed lives for the better.

For your passionate perservenece in promoting the sanctity of human life and the dignity of individuals, for your commitment to Catholic values, teachings, and traditions, and for your devotion to building a just and compassionate society, we are proud to bestow upon you, Arlene McNamee, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Humanities.