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Syracuse University to Award Four Honorary Degrees at 2019 Commencement
An international diplomat and champion for human rights; a global executive and philanthropist; an expert economist and leader in U.S. monetary policymaking; and a successful family business entrepreneur and social justice philanthropist will be awarded honorary degrees at Syracuse University’s 2019 Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 12.
Zainab Hawa Bangura, former United Nations special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict and former foreign minister for Sierra Leone; Steven W. Barnes ’82, a managing director at Bain Capital and Syracuse University Board of Trustees chairman; Mary C. Daly G’94, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; and Marvin K. Lender ’63, chairman of Baldwin Street Management LLC and part of the former family business, Lender’s Frozen Bagels, will be recognized for their achievements during the ceremony in the Dome. Daly will deliver the Commencement address.
Zainab Hawa Bangura, Doctor of Laws
Bangura is a relentless advocate for conflict resolution and reconciliation and the protection of men and women who face sexual violence during times of war and conflict. She is an internationally recognized diplomat and champion for democratization, the political empowerment of women and human rights. Her bravery has led her to confront the powerful, give hope to the powerless, and make the international community take notice.
Born in Sierra Leone, Bangura earned scholarships to finish high school and to attend the University of Sierra Leone’s Fourah Bay College. She also earned advanced diplomas in insurance management from two United Kingdom-based institutions and was later the vice president of one of Sierra Leone’s largest insurance companies.
During the 1990s, while the country was ruled by a military junta and in the midst of the country’s civil war, Bangura co-founded the nation’s first non-partisan women’s rights group, Women Organized for a Morally Enlightened Nation. The movement helped remove the military junta from power in 1996 through the first national election in nearly three decades. She went on to co-found the non-governmental organization the Campaign for Good Governance.
Beginning in 2002, after the civil war ended, Bangura worked with David M. Crane, then chief prosecutor of the international war crimes tribunal in West Africa and now retired professor of practice in the College of Law. Bangura, who was a victim of violence and lost family members in the civil war, collected testimony from victims of the conflict. She was instrumental in advancing the understanding of the crimes against women and children, a cornerstone to the indictments against the perpetrators.
Also in 2002, she was the first woman to run for the presidency. And Bangura later founded the National Accountability Group to fight government corruption. In 2006, she was named director of the Civil Affairs Office in the U.N. Mission in Liberia, overseeing the reconstruction of that country’s government agencies following its civil war. Returning to Sierra Leone, Bangura was named foreign minister and also served for two years as minister of health and sanitation.
Her work was recognized further when, in 2012, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Bangura as his special representative on sexual violence in conflict at the level of under-secretary-general. During her leadership, she expanded the training of deploying armed forces in conflict zones on conflict-related sexual violence. Her efforts also led to improved strategies to combat sexual violence and improved access to services for sexual violence victims. In 2016, she visited Syracuse University to support its work in international criminal law, helping the College of Law and Maxwell School launch its white paper on rape in Syria.
Bangura has received many awards, including the African International Award of Merit for Leadership, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights Award, the African American Institute Distinguished Alumna award and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security.
Steven W. Barnes, Doctor of Humane Letters
An internationally successful business leader, Barnes has used his success and his energies to give back and advance opportunities for others. Barnes, who earned a bachelor’s degree from the Whitman School, credits Syracuse University for helping him achieve his dreams and opening up the world to him. Barnes is a managing director at Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading private, multi-asset alternative investment firms. He joined the company in 1988 and is currently head of Bain Capital’s North America Private Equity business.
In his ardent conviction to pay back what was provided to him, Barnes and his family have traveled abroad to support the work of international nonprofit organizations. In Kenya, they have supported sustainable development and education in the Maasai and Kispigis communities; helped build schools and hospitals in the Maasai Mara; supported educational scholarships for girls; and funded farmland development to reverse food scarcity. They have also worked in an AIDS orphanage in South Africa.
Barnes is a former chair of the board of Make-A-Wish of Massachusetts and received the Wish Hero Award for his outstanding service to Make-A-Wish. He currently serves on the board of Children’s Hospital Boston, MV Youth and New Profit, a venture philanthropy firm that has invested in more than 60 social entrepreneurial organizations.
At Syracuse University, Barnes has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2015. His term ends in May. He was named to the board in 2008 and has served on the executive committee and the investment and endowment committee. In 2014, he received the Dritz Trustee of the Year Award, which recognizes a trustee who shows extraordinary effort on behalf of the University. In 2011, Barnes, who served on the Whitman School’s Advisory Council, received the Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year Award from the Whitman School.
The Barnes family has supported the University for many years. In 2010, Barnes endowed what is now known as the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, and he went on to serve as a founding co-chair of the advisory board of the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. He endowed the Barnes Professorship in Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School and has provided support to the Remembrance Scholarship Fund, the McLane Legacy Fund and Syracuse Athletics.
He also generously provided funding for the Orange Value Fund to encourage student entrepreneurship; the fund is now a $4.1 million student-run portfolio that is part of a two-year analyst program at the Whitman School, combining academic, research, money management and career components. Barnes does not receive any proceeds from the fund, but he continues to be rewarded by watching students benefit from the real-world fund management experience.
As chairman of the Board of Trustees, Barnes has worked with other University leaders to help the institution achieve its aspirations as outlined in the Syracuse University Academic Strategic Plan and the Campus Framework. In 2017, he and his wife, Deborah, made an annual fund challenge gift of $500,000 to match new and increased gifts supporting the University’s Invest Syracuse campaign, the funding initiative to support the strategic plan. That same year, the couple made a $5 million gift to establish a new state-of-the-art, health, wellness and recreation complex, transforming the former Archbold/Flanagan Gymnasium. The gift supports the creation of the Barnes Center at The Arch, which will house all of the campus health and wellness services, further solidifying their commitment to the student experience, particularly as it relates to nourishing the “whole” student.
Mary C. Daly, Doctor of Humane Letters
Daly’s inspiring personal story of hard work, determination and academic scholarship has led to a distinguished leadership role in public service and a passion for increasing diversity in the economics profession. Daly, who took office as president and CEO of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank in October, oversees the largest of the Federal Reserve’s 12 districts—by population and size of its economy. She also serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, which meets eight times a year in Washington, D.C., to discuss and decide on monetary policy in the United States. The committee’s work impacts the lives of every American and has global implications.
A native of Ballwin, Missouri, Daly dropped out of high school and started working at the age of 15. Through the encouragement of a mentor, she completed a GED and applied to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a master’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in economics at the Maxwell School. She also completed a National Institute of Aging postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University.
A leading national expert on labor economics, Daly joined the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 1996 as an economist. She rose through the ranks in various research leadership roles before being named executive vice president and director of economic research at the San Francisco Fed. In that role, she oversaw key research and supported the development of monetary policy by guiding and providing relevant economic analyses. Daly worked closely with then-President and CEO of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank Janet Yellen—who later became chair of the Federal Reserve System—on a comprehensive reform of the Federal Reserve System’s benefit programs, along with issues related to labor markets and monetary policy.
A strong advocate for diversity in leadership roles at the Federal Reserve and in economics, Daly is former chair of the bank’s Diversity Council and has focused on building the pipeline of women and minorities entering the economics profession. At the bank, she helped increase the percentage of women in the bank’s research assistant program for college graduates through personal outreach to colleges and accepted applicants.
In other areas of public service, Daly has served on the advisory boards of the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security Administration, the Office of Rehabilitation Research and Training, the Institute of Medicine and the Library of Congress. She is a research fellow at the IZA Institute in Bonn, Germany, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis and Industrial Relations.
Marvin Lender ’63, Doctor of Humane Letters
Marvin K. Lender helped build a successful family business before creating an even more fulfilling life through his belief in social justice and philanthropy. Lender is chairman of Baldwin Street Management LLC, a family office. He is widely known for the highly successful Lender’s Bagels enterprise, which his father founded in his garage in 1927, and which was sold to Kraft Inc. in 1984.
Lender is very active in the Jewish community. He cofounded the Holocaust Education Prejudice Reduction Program for New Haven, Connecticut, and surrounding school systems. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven and of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. He is past chair of the Budget Committee of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; chair and former member of the board of governors of the World Income Committee of the Jewish Agency of Israel; founder and former co-chair of the Israeli American Jewish Forum; and former chairman of the board of trustees of the Israel Policy Forum, among other leadership roles. Lender is also a past president and chair of the National United Jewish Appeal. He was also chair of Operation Exodus’ $1 billion campaign for the resettlement of Soviet and Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
For more than 30 years, Lender has served—and continues to serve—on the boards of Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale-New Haven Health Systems. In 2010, he concluded his term as co-chair of the development committee for the Yale-New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital, helping raise over $100 million for this new state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility. In 2017, he was inducted into The American Society of Baking Hall of Fame.
In 2018, Lender and his wife, Helaine (Gold) ’65, turned their lifelong commitment to social justice and greater understanding among people into the establishment of the multidisciplinary Lender Center for Social Justice, within the School of Education. The couple provided a $5 million gift in support of the creation of the center, which includes research support, symposia and faculty and student fellowships.
Lender, who earned a political science degree at the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, is a Syracuse University Life Trustee and life participant of the Investment and Endowment Committee and served as chair of the $370 million Commitment to Learning Campaign. He has been a member of the national committee for the Campaign for Syracuse and the charter president of the Society of Fellows. He founded the Lender Laboratory for Institutional Food Preparation in the former College for Human Development and earned a National Alumni Award in 1986 and the Arents Pioneer Medal for Excellence in Business in 1993.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York state, with a global footprint and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience, as well as innovative online learning environments. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths. At Syracuse University, we offer a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges and 18 online degree programs. We have more than 15,000 undergraduates and 7,500 graduate students, more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit syracuse.edu.