On Sunday, May 19, Ed Cooley ’94, head coach of the Georgetown University Hoyas men’s basketball program, will give the keynote address at Stonehill College’s 73rd Commencement

The alumnus will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the ceremony, as will Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80, superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and Jean MacCormack, former chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and former president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

“As we continue to celebrate our 75th anniversary of Stonehill, it is my great privilege to welcome these distinguished leaders to our campus,” said President John Denning, C.S.C. “Each of these individuals embody the concept of servant leadership within their fields. I know that their example will help guide our seniors and graduate students as they prepare for life after Stonehill."

Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80, Doctor of Humane Letters

Br. Paul Bednarczyk

Br. Bednarczyk was named 14th Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2022. In addition to being the first brother to serve in this role in the Congregation, he is the first brother to be elected Superior General of a clerical institute in the history of the Church. For six years prior to this appointment, he served as the Vicar General and First Assistant for the Congregation. Before that, he was Executive Director of the National Religious Vocation Conference, through which he oversaw over 900 religious vocation directors in 15 countries and acted as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

He previously served as Formation Director and Vocation Director for his province and was a member of his Provincial Council for several terms. Early in his career, he worked as a teacher and administrator at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, and Notre Dame International School in Rome, Italy.

Over the years, Br. Bednarczyk has volunteered his time and talents as a member of the Advisory Board of Praesidium Religious Services and the Corporate Board of Holy Cross Family. He has also hosted workshops in vocation ministry at locations across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 

Br. Bednarczyk professed his First Vows in 1979 at Sacred Heart Church in Bennington, Vermont. He made his Final Vows in 1985 at St. Joseph Center in Valatie, New York. He graduated from Stonehill College with a bachelor’s degree in English and from Fordham University with a master’s degree in Religion and Religious Education. 

Ed Cooley ’94, Doctor of Humane Letters

Ed Cooley

Across 17 seasons as a head basketball coach, Cooley has earned a 334-222 winning record. Prior to joining the program at Georgetown University during the 2023-2024 season, he led the Providence College Friars from 2011 to 2023. Throughout his time there, he posted a 242-153 winning record, which included seven trips to the NCAA Tournament, advancement to the Sweet 16 Tournament in 2022, a BIG EAST regular season title in 2022, and a BIG EAST Tournament title in 2014. 

Before coaching at Providence, Cooley guided the Fairfield University Stags from 2006 to 2011. Earlier in his career, he served as an assistant coach at several noteworthy institutions, including Stonehill College, Boston College, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 

Cooley has received many awards in recognition of his superior leadership, including Coach of the Year honors from multiple organizations. In 2010, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ben Jobe Award, given annually to the top minority men’s basketball coach in the United States.

While attending Stonehill College as a student-athlete, Cooley earned a bachelor’s degree in history and served as captain of the Stonehill basketball team for three seasons. In 2012, he received Stonehill’s Outstanding Alumnus Award for his distinguished professional achievements. In addition, he was inducted into the College’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019. 

Jean MacCormack, Doctor of Humane Letters

Jean MacCormack

A distinguished leader in higher education, MacCormack served in various roles at the University of Massachusetts Boston from 1982 to 1999, including dean, vice chancellor for administration and finance, deputy chancellor and chancellor. She worked tirelessly to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities at every level.

MacCormack was the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth from 1999 to 2012. She led the institution through a decade of major transformation that included expanding courses offerings, growing a diverse student body, and supporting an increase in research and major fundraising. She also established the first public law school in the Commonwealth and helped advance the university’s investment in local communities by creating and expanding innovate satellite campuses in New Bedford and Fall River focusing on the arts, advanced manufacturing and technology, and marine science.

After retiring from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, MacCormack was appointed president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in 2014 and served in the role until 2018. She is currently chair of the Board of Trustees of Bridgewater State University and chair of the Bristol County Savings Bank SouthCoast Advisory Board. She has also served as chair of the SouthCoast Health Board and commissioner of the New England Commission for Higher Education. She has held roles on many community boards, including seven years on the Central School Board for the Diocese of Fall River.

MacCormack received master’s and doctoral degrees in Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.