ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Charles J. Dougherty, Ph.D., president of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., and a nationally recognized scholar and expert in health care ethics, will be the keynote speaker at St. Bonaventure University’s 152nd annual Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 13. Dougherty, a 1971 St. Bonaventure graduate, will be one of three people receiving honorary degrees, along with Sr. Mary Jean Ryan, F.S.M., chair of the board of SSM Health Care in St. Louis, Mo., and John R. McGinley Jr., an attorney with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC in Pittsburgh, Pa., and outgoing chair of St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees.
“Given St. Bonaventure University’s distinction in preparing students for medical school through our Franciscan Health Care program, it is fitting that we honor three individuals who have made such significant contributions to our nation’s Catholic health care systems,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president.
Born in New York City and educated in Catholic schools, Dougherty was the first person in his family to attend college. Following his graduation from St. Bonaventure, he enrolled at the University of Notre Dame, earning his master’s and doctorate in philosophy in 1973 and 1975, respectively. His wife, the Hon. Sandra L. Dougherty, is also a 1971 St. Bonaventure graduate.
Dougherty joined the faculty at Creighton University, a Catholic university in Omaha, Neb., in 1975 and chaired its Department of Philosophy from 1981 to 1989. He served as the first director of the Creighton Center for Health Policy and Ethics from 1988 to 1995, as academic vice president at Creighton from 1995 to 2001, and as acting university president in the summer of 2000.
He was elected president of Duquesne by the University Board of Directors in May 2001.
Dougherty is widely published on the subject of ethics and health care. His works include five books on the subject and more than 50 scholarly articles.
He has served on numerous health care advisory commissions and projects. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association, and on the board of editors at Health Progress, the journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. He chairs the Ethics Committee at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Dougherty received the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, and was awarded the 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Jerome Bettis Foundation, which strives to improve the quality of life for troubled and underprivileged children. Sr. Mary Jean served as president and CEO of SSM Health Care, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the United States, for 25 years before transitioning to the role of board chair in 2011. Under her leadership, SSM Health Care became the first health care recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s premier award for performance excellence and quality achievement.
McGinley graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1965 and the Duquesne University School of Law in 1968. A trial attorney for more than 30 years, he has extensive experience in corporate, business, real estate and professional liability matters. In 2002, he joined Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, where he is a member of the Board of Directors and chairs its Executive Committee. McGinley also chaired the Board of Pittsburgh Mercy Hospital until its merger into UPMC Health System. He chaired the Board of UPMC Mercy until February 2012.
He served as a St. Bonaventure trustee from 1989 to 1999. He returned to the Board of Trustees in 2004 as its chair, a role he has held since. He leaves the board when his term expires in June.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.
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