Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and co-anchor of The PBS NewsHour, will be the Commencement speaker at Franklin & Marshall College on Saturday, May 15, 2010. In addition to Woodruff, the College will award honorary degrees at the Commencement ceremony to Ann B. Barshinger W'43, Dale F. Frey '54 and Mary Patterson "Pat" McPherson, Ph.D.
Woodruff's career in national media has spanned more than three decades, including positions at CNN, NBC and PBS. She was named senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS in 2007, serving as editor of The NewsHour's 2008 political coverage. She has covered every presidential election since 1976.
Woodruff was White House correspondent for NBC News from 1977 to 1982 before spending a year as chief Washington correspondent for the Today Show. She moved to PBS in 1983, working as chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour for the next decade. She also anchored Frontline with Judy Woodruff on PBS from 1984 to 1990. In 1993, Woodruff moved to CNN, where she anchored CNN's weekday political program, Inside Politics. She continues to host Conversations with Judy Woodruff, a monthly program on Bloomberg Television.
A graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita, Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women's Media Foundation, a global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media. She serves as a member of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom Forum, the Newseum and Global Rights: Partners for Justice.
Ann Barshinger has been Franklin & Marshall College's most generous benefactor while setting a nearly inimitable example of community involvement and service. Her remarkable generosity includes $11.5 million in gifts to support planning and construction of the Ann & Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building, and with her late husband, the lead gift to create the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts. Barshinger also supported the creation of an ecumenical College chaplain position, a vital spiritual resource for Franklin & Marshall students.
The reach of Barshinger's philanthropy is admirable. She supports community organizations in her longtime home of Red Lion, Pa., and has been a benefactor to a variety of Lancaster County organizations. She has been a generous supporter and tireless advocate for the Welsh Mountain Medical and Dental Center, which provides medical and dental care at reduced rates or entirely free for some of Lancaster County's most needy residents. She visits the clinic on a regular basis, taking a personal interest in those who benefit from its care.
Barshinger is also a supporter and advocate for the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center, a nonprofit organization that strives to educate and inspire people of all ages to make healthy choices and serves all of South Central Pennsylvania. Among the other organizations that benefit from her support are the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Fulton Theatre and Lancaster Theological Seminary.
Dale Frey is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Investment Corp. He has served as chairman of Franklin & Marshall's Board of Trustees since 2004, and has been a member of the Board since 1991. During Frey's tenure, the Board's annual philanthropic support of the College has more than doubled, and Trustees have assumed more central roles in raising funds to support key projects.
After graduating from F&M, Frey worked as a staff accountant for Arthur Andersen from 1954 to 1955 before serving in the United States Air Force in the Office of the Auditor General in New York from 1955 to 1957. He joined General Electric in 1957 and held positions of increasing responsibility in the company over the next 40 years, retiring as chairman of the board and CEO of General Electric Investment Corp. in 1997. He served as special adviser to Bank of America in 2003 and continues to be actively engaged as an adviser and partner in Aurora Capital, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.
In 1997, Frey and his wife, Betty Ann, established The Dale and Betty Ann Frey Endowed Scholarship Fund. The same year, they established the Frey Internship Program, which supports community service work by Franklin & Marshall students in the Manheim community. In 2004, the program became The Betty Ann and Dale F. Frey '54 Manheim Endowment Fund, the income and principal of which is used to support the Frey Franklin & Marshall Public Service Summer Internship Program.
Frey has served as chairman of the board of directors of Damon Runyon Cancer Center Foundation since 1993. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Palm Beach Pops in West Palm Beach, Fla., and is a former member of the board of overseers of New York University's Stern School of Business.
Pat McPherson is executive officer of the American Philosophical Society (APS), the nation's first learned society. She served as the sixth president of Bryn Mawr College from 1978 to 1997 after having been dean of the undergraduate college, deputy to the president and associate professor of philosophy from 1970 to 1978. She was named vice president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1997, where she was program officer for the liberal arts colleges until 2007.
McPherson received her A.B. from Smith College, where she is the recent past chair of the board of trustees. She earned an M.A. from the University of Delaware before earning her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. Elected to the APS in 1983, McPherson served as a vice president for six years. She has played an active role in the society during her membership, serving on numerous committees. She also chaired the annual fund for three years.
A leading figure in the field of education, McPherson has served on the boards of The Agnes Irwin School, Amherst College, Bank Street College, The Brookings Institution, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Exeter Academy, The National Humanities Center, The Shipley School and The Spencer Foundation. She also serves on the boards of Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions, The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, The Philadelphia Contributionship and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is retired from the boards of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JSTOR and The Teagle Foundation.
More information on Franklin & Marshall's Commencement ceremony, including schedules, will be posted on the Commencement Web site later in the semester.