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CEO of Catholic Relief Services to deliver Loyola's 2013 commencement address

| By Nick Alexopulos
Catholic Relief Services CEO Carolyn Woo

Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, will deliver Loyola University Maryland's 2013 commencement address on Saturday, May 18, at 1st Mariner Arena. As speaker, Woo will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

More than 1,600 baccalaureate and advanced degrees will be conferred during the Exercises, which begin at 11 a.m. in Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena.

"Dr. Woo's monumental contributions to academia and social justice throughout her distinguished career are an exemplar of the leadership and vision we value deeply at Loyola," said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president. "I'm thrilled that her insight, coupled with Loyola's rigorous, Jesuit educational experience, will further inspire this year's graduating class of exceptional men and women to lead, serve, and innovate in the next chapter of their lives."

Woo was recently named one of the "500 Most Powerful People on the Planet" by Foreign Policy magazine.

In January 2012, Woo became CEO and president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Since then, the Baltimore-based organization has expanded in size to reach more than 100 million people in nearly 100 countries on five continents.

Before CRS, Woo served from 1997 to 2011 as dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. During Woo's tenure, the Mendoza College was frequently recognized as the nation's leading business school in ethics education and research and received top ranking in 2010 and 2011 for its undergraduate business program from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. Prior to her time at the University of Notre Dame, Woo served as associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University.

She was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools (AACSB: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and directed its initiative for Peace through Commerce. She has served on advisory boards or boards of directors for numerous organizations, including CRS; Catholic Charities USA; Migration & Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Fuel Up to Play 60 (sponsored by the National Football League and the National Dairy Council). Woo also helped launch the Principles for Responsible Management Education for the United Nations Global Compact program.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Woo immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she earned her bachelor’s in economics with highest distinction and honors, Master of Science in Industrial Administration with award as Krannert Scholar, and Ph.D. in Strategic Management.

She is married with two sons.

Other honors to be awarded by Loyola at this year’s Commencement Exercises will include:

  • Carroll Medal (recognizing distinguished alumni for noteworthy and meritorious service on the University's behalf): Sally Riley, MSA '68, Mount Saint Agnes College reunion chair and vice president of the MSA alumnae association.
  • John Henry Newman Medal (presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to Catholic education): Adrian Dominican Sister Maureen Fay, O.P., Ph.D., University of Detroit Mercy president emerita.
  • The Milch Award (recognizing superior contributions and achievement by an organization involved in service): Sandtown Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit Christian housing organization in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore that seeks to rebuild vacant housing.
Additional information about Loyola’s 161st Commencement Exercises is available at www.loyola.edu/commencement.
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