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CBU Communications & Marketing
St. Joseph Hall 105
MEMPHIS — The Board of Trustees of Christian Brothers University (CBU) announced that alumna Altha Stewart, MD will deliver the address at the University’s 2018 commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at Signaigo Field on CBU’s campus, where the university will confirm associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees to 470 participating graduates in the fields of liberal arts, fine arts, accounting, business, engineering and the sciences.
Stewart, who is set to be sworn in as the American Psychiatric Association’s first African-American president two days before the CBU commencement, was a member of the first class of women admitted to CBU and graduated with a BS in biology in 1973. She received her medical degree from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, and did her residency at Hahnemann University Hospital there. Her career has included being New York City's commissioner of mental health, CEO of a children's psychiatric hospital in New York, and managing one of the country's largest public health systems in Detroit before returning to Memphis.
A nationally recognized expert in public sector and minority issues in mental health care, and in the effects of trauma and violence on children, Stewart serves as director of the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth and is associate professor/chief of Social and Community Psychiatry at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is a founding member of the board of directors of the ACE Awareness Foundation, vice-chair of the Memphis Juvenile Justice Board, and serves on Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s School Safety Working Group formed recently to review school safety in Tennessee and provide recommendations to enhance the security of schoolchildren.
CBU will confer the honoris causa (honorary doctorate) on Dr. Stewart in recognition of dedication to coordinate education, health, family and legal agencies to provide resources for families with children impacted by violence. This cause is not only her professional focus, it is her personal passion.
“It is a distinct privilege to have one of CBU’s most accomplished alumnae as our Commencement speaker this year,” said CBU President Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. “I can think of no better person to inspire the class of 2018 as they graduate just a month after the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Stewart exemplifies the Lasallian values of inclusion, respect for the individual, service, and social justice that Dr. King also espoused.”
Additional details about the CBU's 2018 Commencement may be found here. A live streaming broadcast of the ceremony will be available at this link.
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