BRISTOL, R.I. – Madeleine K. Albright, who in 1997 became the first female Secretary of State in U.S. history, will address the Roger Williams University Class of 2012 and receive an honorary degree during Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 19.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the University’s main athletic field on the Bristol Campus at One Old Ferry Road. Trudy Coxe, chief executive officer of the Preservation Society of Newport County, will also be awarded an honorary degree.
A day earlier, the Hon. Jack B. Weinstein – a United States district judge for the Eastern District of New York who is widely regarded as one of the most respected judges in America – will be awarded an honorary degree and deliver the Commencement address at the Roger Williams University School of Law ceremony.
The law school ceremony will take place on Friday, May 18, at 1 p.m., also on the main athletic field. Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg will also receive an honorary degree during the ceremony.
Portrait by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Chair of Albright Capital Management, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. Dr. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. She will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama later this spring.
In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor and environmental standards abroad.
From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy. Previously, she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.
Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Albright serves on the Boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Chair a Group of Experts focused on developing NATO’s New Strategic Concept.
Dr. Albright is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012).
Trudy Coxe joined the Preservation Society of Newport County as Chief Executive Officer in December 1998. She oversees more than 400 employees and under her leadership, visitation, membership, fundraising and retail sales have all grown significantly.
Since her arrival, 10 of the Society’s properties have been designated as Official Projects of Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In April of 2004, the Society received accreditation by the American Association of Museums; only 750 of the nation's 16,000 museums are accredited.
Immediately prior to joining the Preservation Society, Coxe served as Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs from 1993 through 1998. Previously, she was Executive Director of Rhode Island's Save the Bay for 11 years, turning it into the largest citizen action organization in New England. She also served for two years as Director of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Jack B. Weinstein was born in Wichita, Kansas, and educated in New York City. He received a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College in 1943, and a law degree from Columbia University in 1948. In 1949 and 1950 he was a teaching Associate at Columbia Law School. In 1949 and 1950 he served as a law clerk to Judge Stanley Fuld of the New York Court of Appeals. After a brief time in private practice, he joined the law faculty of Columbia University. He continued to teach there and in other law schools until 1998. He was the chief drafter of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, and was a member of the Advisory Committee that drafted the Federal Rules of Evidence.
After serving as County Attorney of Nassau County, New York, Judge Weinstein was appointed to the federal bench in 1967 by President Johnson on the recommendation of Senator Robert Kennedy. He was chief Judge of the Eastern District of New York from 1980 to 1988.
In recent years, as U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, Judge Weinstein has influenced substantive and procedural aspects of the law of mass tort litigation. He has helped create efficient yet compassionate solutions to problems created by Vietnam veterans' exposure to Agent Orange and to the health hazards associated with asbestos, DES, ergonomics problems, breast implants and other such matters.
Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg was appointed to the Rhode Island Superior Court on July 9, 1990, and the Rhode Island Supreme Court on May 30, 1997.
An honors graduate in the first class of women at Providence College in 1973, Justice Goldberg graduated with honors from Suffolk University Law School in 1978. She began her professional career as a prosecutor in the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General and rose to the rank of Administrator of the Criminal Division. In 1984, she entered private practice of law with her husband, Robert D. Goldberg, but remained active in public service. She was the town solicitor for the towns of South Kingstown and Westerly and worked as Westerly’s acting town manager at a difficult time in the town’s history – a pro bono position that was especially gratifying.
As a Justice of the Superior and Supreme Courts, Justice Goldberg has worked toward the improvement of the law and the legal profession. She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Ada Sawyer Award of Excellence from the Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association, Citizen of the Year by the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Association, “Women We Admire” from the Big Sisters of Rhode Island and the “The Rhode Island 85” from the Junior League of Rhode Island.