2015 Honorary Degree Recipients

Becker College awards honorary doctoral degrees to individuals who merit our highest recognition by attaining achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction and demonstrating personal and professional qualities that are consistent with the mission and values of Becker College: outstanding humanitarian or public service in the global arena, in our nation, or in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; exceptional contributions to knowledge in the world of scholarship; creativity and innovation in any field that has enriched lives; and support of our College.

Karen S. Rohan
President, Aetna, Inc.

Karen RohanKaren S. Rohan, president of Aetna, Inc., will deliver the keynote address at Becker College’s 227th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9, 2015, and she will be recognized by the College with an honorary doctoral degree.

As president, a position she began in January 2015, Ms. Rohan is responsible for implementing Aetna’s strategies among the company’s core institutional businesses. Ms. Rohan joined Aetna in 2012. Prior to her appointment as president, Ms. Rohan served in various capacities including Executive Vice President of Aetna’s Local and Regional Businesses in which she successfully led Aetna’s integration efforts for the 2013 acquisition of Coventry Health Care. She was also Executive Vice President and Head of Specialty Projects for Aetna.

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The Honorable Martha P. Grace

Martha GraceThe Honorable Martha P. Grace is the former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court.  After leaving the bench in 2009, Judge Grace earned a master’s degree from the Tufts Veterinary School Center for Animals and Public Policy and turned her attention to educating judges, policy makers, law enforcement, social service workers, and others about the links between animal abuse and interpersonal violence.

Judge Grace was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court Department in February 1998, becoming the first woman to lead one of the Commonwealth's seven trial court departments.  Prior to that, she served as Associate Justice of the Worcester Juvenile Court since 1990. In March 2014, her official portrait was permanently hung in Worcester Juvenile Court.

Judge Grace has received numerous honors from child welfare agencies and community organizations for her work on behalf of children, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers for her outstanding service on the bench. In 2004, she received the honor of Becker College Distinguished Friend of Education. From 2002 to 2014, she served as an esteemed member of the Becker College Board of Trustees.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology at Smith College and her master’s degree in history from Clark University.  She subsequently earned her J.D. at New England School of Law and is an honorary degree recipient from Southern New England School of Law and Mass School of Professional Psychology.

Judge Grace is currently a member of the National Association of Women Judges, the American Judicature Society, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Massachusetts Judges Conference, and Worcester, Boston, and Massachusetts Bar Associations.  Additionally, she is a corporator for Girls, Inc. in Worcester, and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

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