Peace Corps director Mark D. Gearan Fairfield University commencement speaker


Mark D. Gearan, the Director of the Peace Corps since 1995, will deliver the commencement address at Fairfield University on Sunday, May 23, during ceremonies at Bellarmine Hall Terrace that begin at 10 a.m. Fairfield will present him with an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Other honorary degree recipients will be Leslie C. Quick, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Quick & Reilly/Fleet Securities, Inc, a doctor of laws; Rev. James L. Connor, S.J., director of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, a doctor of humane letters; and Gustav Meier, music director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut and the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, a doctor of laws.

At its 49th Annual Commencement, Fairfield will present approximately 1,050 degrees: 805 bachelor's degrees; 209 master's degrees; 18 certificates of advanced study and 19 associate's degrees.

The Commencement weekend includes the celebration of the Baccalaureate Mass on Saturday, May 22, at Bellarmine Terrace at 4 p.m. The Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., University President, will be the presider and members of the Jesuit Community will concelebrate. The Rev. Paul E. Carrier, S.J., University Chaplain, will deliver the homily.

Mark D. Gearan

Under Mr. Gearan's leadership, the Peace Corps has opened programs in South Africa, Jordan, Mozambique and Bangladesh and returned its volunteers to Haiti after a five-year absence. In 1996, he established the Crisis Corps, a new program that allows returned and current Peace Corps Volunteers to use their language, cross-cultural, and technical skills to help overseas communities recover from natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Over the last two years, more than 135 Crisis Corps Volunteers have worked on disaster relief projects in 15 countries.

With more than 6,700 Peace Corps volunteers in 80 countries, Mr. Gearan is working on a multi-year initiative, announced last year by President Clinton, to expand the number of volunteers to 10,000 by the early part of the next century. To reach that goal, Mr. Gearan is streamlining agency operations and has garnered the support of members of Congress in both parties, resulting in the largest budget ever for the Peace Corps.

Before joining the Peace Corps, Mr. Gearan was deputy chief of staff and director of communications for President Clinton from 1993 to 1995 and campaign manager for Vice President Al Gore during the 1992 presidential campaign. He traveled extensively with President Clinton on his foreign policy trips to Russia, Ireland, Germany, Italy, the Middle East and Japan.

He also served as Director of the Democratic Governors' Association and was a senior member of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign and an aide to former Congressmen Robert Drinan of Massachusetts and Berkeley Bedell of Iowa.

A native of Gardner, Mass., Mr. Gearan earned a bachelor's degree in government cum laude from Harvard College and a law degree from Georgetown University. He is married to Mary Herlihy Gearan and they have two daughters, Madeleine and Kathleen.

Leslie C. Quick, Jr.

Leslie C. Quick, Jr., the Wall Street visionary and philanthropist who in 1974 founded Quick & Reilly, Inc., the discount brokerage unit, is now the chairman and chief executive officer of Quick & Reilly/Fleet Securities, Inc., a fully integrated financial services company that is a major operating unit of Fleet Financial Group, Inc.

Since its inception, Quick & Reilly has expanded to include Quick & Reilly, Inc., a national discount brokerage firm with nearly 120 Investor Centers nationwide; U.S. Clearing, providing clearing and execution services to over 370 brokerage and banking firms in addition to the Quick & Reilly offices; JJC Specialist, the largest specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange; USCC Trading, a leading NASDAQ market maker; and Fleet Securities, a municipal bond unit.

On Feb. 1, 1998, Quick & Reilly and its related businesses were organized under a new subsidiary, Quick & Reilly/Fleet Securities, Inc., a subsidiary of Fleet Financial Group, Inc. Mr. Quick continues as chairman and CEO of that subsidiary.

A member of the board of directors of Fleet Financial Group's Trust and Investment Management Services Company, N.A., and the immediate past chairman of the board of trustees of Fairfield University, Mr. Quick also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Alfred E. Smith Foundation, the Dana Farber Hospital, The School Choice Scholarship Foundation in New York City and the Gregorian University in Rome.

In addition, Mr. Quick is chairman of the Board of St. Francis-Mercy Corporation and on the advisory council of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. He is a Knight of Malta and a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as well as a member of the Cardinal's Committee of the Laity of the Archdiocese of New York.

Mr. Quick is a graduate of Pennsylvania Military College, now Widener University, where he serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees and was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration in 1990.

Mr. Quick and his wife, Regina C. Quick, have seven children and twenty-four grandchildren.

Rev. James L. Connor, S.J.

Named director of the Woodstock Theological Center on the campus of Georgetown University in 1987, Rev. James L. Connor, S.J., has guided the Center in examining, from a theological and ethical perspective, topics of social, economic, business, ecclesial and political importance. Founded in 1974 as an independent nonprofit institute by the Maryland and New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus, the Center does research, conducts conferences and seminars and publishes books and articles.

Among the Center's important initiatives during Father Connor's tenure has been the establishment of a permanent program on business ethics which uses an Ignatian ethical decision-making process to resolve ethical issues in everyday business life.

Another initiative, the Woodstock Business Conference, is a national program with chapters throughout the United States, bringing business leaders together regularly to discover the relevance of religious faith to business practice.

Father Conner has also introduced programs to help church leaders, clergy, religious and lay, to develop the spirituality and management skills to guide their communities. In addition, Father Connor is helping to launch "Global Economy and Cultures," in which Woodstock and 40 Jesuit social science and research centers around the world will look at the globalization of the economy, the politics associated with it and its impact on local cultures and societies, especially the poor.

A graduate of Loyola University in Chicago with a bachelor's and a master's degree, Father Connor was ordained a priest in 1959 and received a doctorate in systematic theology from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1964.

In 1968 Father Connor was named provincial of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus and in 1973 a member of the staff of the National Jesuit Conference of the United States, becoming its president three years later. As pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C., from 1982-87, he began neighborhood prayer groups, instituted a Center for Spirituality and expanded services to the poor.

Father Connor has published articles in "Theological Studies," "America," and "The Way," and is a co-editor of "Ethical Considerations in the Business Aspects of Health Care" in 1995 and "Ethical Issues in Managed Health Care Organizations," in 1999, both by Georgetown University Press.

Gustav Meier

As Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport and Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestras, Gustav Meier is acclaimed in the music world as an outstanding conductor and appears regularly as a guest conductor in Europe, South and Central America and throughout the United States.

His innovative artistic direction has earned him critical acclaim with productions such as Stravinsky's "Rake's Progress," in which he collaborated with film director Robert Altman; William Bolcom's "Songs of Innocence and Experience," which he conducted in Ann Arbor and at Chicago's Grant Park; and Andre Previn's "All Good Boys Deserve Favour," a play by Tom Stoppard set for actors and a symphony orchestra.

A gifted teacher, Mr. Meier spent the summers from 1980 to 1996 overseeing Tanglewood's prestigious Conductors Program where Andre Previn was a frequent guest, along with the late Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davis, Kurt Mazur and Leonard Slatkin. Mr. Meier himself had been chosen as a conducting fellow at Tanglewood in 1957 and '58, winning top prizes and studying with other conducting fellows, Claudio Abbado and Zubin Mehta.

After graduating from the Zurich Conservatory and continuing his studies at the Academia Chigiana Siena, the Swiss-born conductor began his career at the Lucerne Opera, followed by several seasons at the Vienna Chamber Opera and the Zurich Opera. His opera talents were quickly recognized and before long he was conducting at the New York City, Santa Fe, Miami, Minnesota and San Francisco Operas.

Mr. Meier's academic appointments have included the Yale School of Music, where he became the youngest full professor in its history; the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Harvard University honored Gustav Meier with the Luise Vosgerian Teaching Award for his "outstanding teaching abilities and high level of artistic accomplishments." In 1996 he was awarded the Ditson Prize which recognizes a commitment to consistently perform works of American composers.

The recipient of the Conductors Guild's Max Rudolph Award for 1999, Mr. Meier teaches conducting at the Peabody conservatory and guest conducts several concerts each year at the New York State University at Stony Brook. In demand throughout the world, last year he taught and conducted in Canada, Mexico, China, Australia and Ukraine.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 1, 1999

Vol. 31, No. 271