John M. “Jack” Connors Citation
May 23, 2010
We've all heard the phrase "you don't know Jack," but none of its meanings ever applied to you, Jack Connors. Everyone knows Jack Connors. And while the phrase is used to suggest that someone has no practical knowledge about a subject, Jack Connors knows something about just about everything.
If people know anything about Jack Connors, they probably know the story of your meteoric rise in the world of advertising. You were one of four young men, just a few years out of college, who left one of New York's top advertising agencies to start up your own ad shop in Boston. After a few rocky years when you made payroll by some kind of magic, the story of Hill Holliday-now a landmark Boston agency-was born.
Although there were four names in the original business-Hill, Holliday, Connors and Cosmopulos-your name became synonymous with the company. With characteristic humility and humor, you claim your partners named you President because you were the only one without skills. But maybe they were just smart enough to know skills when they saw them. Maybe they knew Jack. They certainly figured out that the kid who could drive a cab and sell hot dogs and peanuts at Fenway to put himself through Boston College could sell the work of the agency. And you did that with almost unimaginable success.
But there's a Jack that many here don't know too: the Jack Connors who quietly but decisively became the very face of Boston philanthropy. You've said that making money was fun, but that it's even more fun to give it away, and you give generously.
You value education-and have served on the boards of two universities and three schools. You value healthcare, and to honor your own mother, you founded the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. You value children, and in addition to the love you and Eileen have given to your four children, you've extended that love to children you don't even know through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston; through Camp Harbor View-a summer oasis for city kids; and, most recently, through the Archdiocese of Boston's 2010 initiative, rebuilding Catholic schools in the archdiocese. Stonehill College is pleased to have partnered with you in the inaugural project of Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton.
Because you followed a youthful dream that changed forever the world of Boston business; because you live, chapter and verse, Luke's gospel message "To whom much is given, much is required"-and because you lead by example in community building and public service, Stonehill College is proud to "know Jack," and to confer upon you, John M. (Jack) Connors, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Business Administration.
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