Mary Richardson Citation - Commencement 2011
May 22, 2011
Mary Richardson - Doctor of Humane Letters
You, Mary Richardson, have not only made a career in newscasting, you have also broken down barriers in your chosen profession-barriers concerning gender roles at the anchor desk, hosting responsibilities on weekly and nightly programs, and even the nature of news itself. How have you done this? Let us read from the Richardson Chronicles.
Although we may think of you as rooted in New England, you actually began your career in California. You arrived here in 1978, and, as the first woman to anchor an 11:00 newscast, you immediately changed the face of Boston broadcasting. When you moved from the CBS to the ABC affiliate, you worked as reporter, anchor, and host of the weekly public affairs series, Five on Five.
Perhaps you never knew the adventure that lay before you when you agreed, in 1984, to become co-anchor of Chronicle. That award-winning show deepened your local connections as your news beats took you off the beaten path and down "the main streets and back roads of New England." For 26 years, you went where the stories took you, and you took us along too.
When you tasted the culinary creations of a new restaurant, our own taste buds responded. When you took us into an unexplored local community, our own worlds expanded a little. When you probed a topic in an interview, our own understanding deepened.
Your professional work on Chronicle won numerous awards, but your personal commitments have hardly been a "road less traveled." You have generously donated your time to countless Massachusetts charities, particularly those that deal with the homeless, such as Horizons for Homeless Children in Boston and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. Other organizations on your personal beat include the Inner City Schools Foundation and the New England Province of Jesuits.
Because you have used your considerable skills to discover what is best in communities and people, because you have unfailingly brought what was hidden right in front of us into view, and because you have done your work with toughness, kindness, and joie de vivre, Stonehill College bestows upon you today, Mary Richardson, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Read by Professor Ron Leone
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