By Liam Dacko
The Class of 2015 will have the chance to sit in on one final lesson before graduating from Stonehill College and going out into the real world.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg will serve as this year’s commencement speaker and impart his wisdom on our graduating seniors as they prepare to venture out on their own.
Over the years, Feinberg has worn a number of hats. After studying at the New York University School of Law, he began his decades-long career as administrative assistant and chief of staff for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney General. He founded his own law firm, Feinberg Rozen, LLP, in 1993.
Feinberg is perhaps most noted for his work with The One Fund, a nonprofit set up in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, which occurred April 2013. The fund benefits families affected by the bombing. Feinberg was appointed administrator of the One Fund in 2013 by former Mayor Thomas Menino and former Governor Deval Patrick. By July of that year, the One Fund collected nearly $61 million, which was distributed among 232 claimants.
“No amount of money can replace what has been lost,” Feinberg said. “It was a solemn responsibility to allocate these finite contributions across tremendous pain and suffering, but it was made lighter by the unprecedented generosity of Bostonians, of Americans, and of people around the world.”
Feinberg, who was born in Brockton, also worked pro bono for 33 months as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. He was responsible for determining appropriate compensation for families affected by the terrorist attacks and then allocating those funds to claimants. Feinberg wrote about this experience in a 2005 book titled What is Life Worth?: The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11. For his efforts, the city of Brockton named a road after him.
In addition to speaking at this year’s ceremony, Feinberg will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letter degree. A number of other guests will also be honored with degrees at this year’s ceremony, including Emmy award-winning journalist and humanitarian Rev. Elizabeth “Liz” Walker, Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Professor Robert Strecker and Catholic Social Services Executive Director Arlene McNamee.
Stonehill College’s 64th Commencement Ceremony will be held Sunday, May 17th, at 10 a.m. on the quad. For more information, visit http://www.stonehill.edu/events/commencement-2015/.