May 15, 2015

The Sage Colleges to Confer almost 800 Degrees

ALBANY & TROY, NY – The Sage Colleges is pleased to announce that Nancy S. Mueller will deliver the 98th commencement address on Saturday, May 16, 2015. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Houston Field House on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus in Troy.

Chemistry, Quiches and a Super Yacht ­ – the Varied Life’s Work of Nancy Mueller Nancy Mueller, who grew up in Latham, NY, is a 1965 graduate of Russell Sage College. She majored in chemistry and after graduation she moved to Palo Alto, CA, and joined Syntex Corporation as pharmaceutical chemist. In 1977, Mueller started her own business, Nancy’s Specialty Foods, and began nationally distributing Nancy’s Deli Spirals, quiche and other appetizers and entrees through retail and club store venues. After 22 years, she successfully sold the business in 1999. Seeking new experiences, her love of sailing inspired her to fulfill a dream, and she commissioned Feadship to build a super yacht, which she named Andiamo (“Let’s go” in Italian), for round the world cruising and diving and use as a charter. Ten years later, after touring hundreds of remote islands and countries with friends and family, she sold the vessel and returned to life on land. She lives in Palo Alto, CA, and Hawaii.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Battling ALS is Her New Life’s Work

Madeline Ruether Kennedy will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. Kennedy was born and raised in Troy, New York. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University in 1975 and studied at Trinity College, Oxford University, in 1974. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from George Mason University in 1982. Kennedy spent her entire 37 year nursing career in Mental Health. In May of 2012 Kennedy was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Although this ended her nursing career, she quickly embraced advocacy and spreading awareness while battling the disease. Kennedy has participated in a variety of research studies, been named to several ALS research committees, given numerous speeches and interviews and authored articles in national media. She has also helped raise more than $100,000 for local and national ALS groups.

Kennedy is an avid golfer who uses an adaptive golf cart which enables her to keep playing. A clip of Kennedy at an ALS golf fundraiser she organized earlier this year went viral on the internet when she sank a 77.5 ft putt on live TV. You can view it here.

Conducting the Direction of American Symphonic Music

David Alan Miller will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Miller, music director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, is a Grammy Award-winning conductor who has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation. Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School.

Former Sandy Hook Principal to Be Honored

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut when she and twenty-five others, were victims of one of the nation’s most tragic school shootings on December 14, 2012. Hochsprung was also a member of Cohort 6 of Sage College’s Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. Sage will posthumously award her Ed.D. Hochsprung’s family will be present to accept her degree.

Sage Degrees A total of 797 degrees will be conferred, including bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificates. This includes students who completed their requirements in August and December 2014 and May of 2015.

Russell Sage College 206 bachelor’s degrees

Sage College of Albany 215 bachelor’s degrees

Sage Graduate Schools 322 master’s degrees and advanced certificates 54  doctorates

Media Notes:

  • Student profiles and pictures are attached for use
  • Media should park in the back of the Houston Field House (This is the closest entrance to the stage.)
  • Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung’s daughters will be available to speak with the media upon request

Media Contact: Deanna Cohen, director of external relations, The Sage Colleges (518) 244-4593 (O), (518) 598-4927 (C), email: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ABOUT SAGE Interdisciplinary academics, combining the professions and the liberal arts, community engagement, international exposure, and artistic and athletic endeavors are among the pillars of the educational experience at The Sage Colleges. Sage enrolls more than 3,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs at the undergraduate Russell Sage College for women in Troy, N.Y.; the coeducational undergraduate Sage College of Albany in Albany, N.Y.; and the graduate-level Esteves School of Education, School of Health Sciences and School of Management, with programs on both campuses; adult education through the School of Professional and Continuing Education and via the Internet through Russell Sage Online.