ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a 1991 St. Bonaventure journalism grduate, will deliver the keynote address May 17 at the university's 160th Commencement ceremony.
Wojnarowski will receive an honorary doctorate.
Also receiving honorary degrees will be Tom Marra, ’80, retired president and CEO of Symetra Financial Corp., and Brigadier Gen. Maureen Keenan LeBoeuf (ret.), ’76, the first woman to chair a department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider, Wojnarowski received the Jandoli School of Communication’s Alumnus of the Year Award in October at the annual Hellinger Awards, and earned a spot just two weeks later on the Jandoli School’s Wall of Fame.
Wojnarowski, recognized with transforming NBA news breaking and reporting across the past decade-plus, is central in ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the NBA throughout the year.
Wojnarowski hosts “The Woj Pod,” which regularly delivers the biggest stars and newsmakers in the NBA, and “The Woj Report” on ESPN’s YouTube page.
Wojnarowski’s peers voted him the National Sports Media Association’s Sportswriter of the Year in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He is just the sixth person to win three straight national Sportswriter of the Year awards, joining Tom Verducci, Rick Reilly, Frank Deford, Jim Murray and Red Smith.
Wojnarowski is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty.”
Prior to his work for ESPN, Wojnarowski worked for Yahoo Sports, where he spent nearly 10 years, including two as editor of The Vertical. His standout career in journalism includes nearly 10 years at The Record of New Jersey (where he was twice named the APSE Columnist of the Year), as well as several years each at The Fresno Bee and The Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American.
With the help of Gale Dickau, an English teacher of five decades at his high school alma mater, Wojnarowski founded and funds the “The Writing Initiative.” The multifaceted program encourages students at Bristol Central High School to write and helps them develop and hone their skills; funds scholarships for college, residential summer writing programs, and numerous educational trips in the Northeast; and develops teacher enrichment programs for educators teaching writing.
Tom Marra retired in 2018 but serves today as Symetra’s Chairman of the Board. He joined the diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington, in 2010.
Marra began his career in 1980 at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. as an actuarial student. While at The Hartford, he held increasingly senior positions, most recently as president and chief operating officer of the parent company. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Hartford Life, Inc.
Baseball has been a huge part of Marra’s life. He is member of the board of directors for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which helps teach life skills to disadvantaged youth through baseball- and softball-themed programs.
Marra served as a university trustee from 2003 to 2012.
In 2013, Tom and his wife, Michelle, became owners of the Mystic (Conn.) Schooners baseball team. At St. Bonaventure, Marra played third base under for SBU Hall of Fame Coach Fred Handler.
Marra and his wife, Michelle, were instrumental in the renovation of SBU’s baseball, lacrosse and soccer fields. In 2005, they made a significant gift to re-surface the baseball field and, in 2013, they made another major gift to complete the multi-purpose field that is home to the Bonnies’ soccer, lacrosse and rugby teams.
After the completion of the first phase of that complex, the area was named The Tom ’80 and Michelle Marra Athletics Fields Complex.
LeBoeuf, who earned her B.S. in education, received a direct commission and initially served as a second lieutenant in the Women’s Army Corps. A career military officer, she held various staff and leadership positions in her 28 years in the Army, and piloted UH-1 helicopters in the continental United States and Europe.
An Olean native, she is a daughter of the late Leo E. Keenan Jr., a 1947 St. Bonaventure graduate who taught English at St. Bonaventure for 50 years. She served for nine years as a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Bonaventure (2001-2010).
After earning her master’s in education from the University of Georgia in 1986, LeBoeuf was assigned as an instructor in the Department of Physical Education at West Point. She later returned to West Point as an associate professor and director of instruction in the Department of Physical Education.
Promoted to colonel, LeBoeuf was appointed “Master of the Sword,” or director and head of the Department of Physical Education, having oversight of the four-year physical education and fitness programs for the academy’s 400 cadets.
LeBoeuf earned a diploma in strategic leadership from the U.S. Army War College and another in management and leadership from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Her awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, four awards of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Aviator Badge.
Commencement Weekend kicks off with the annual Candlelight Induction Ceremony at 8:45 p.m. Friday, May 15, in front of Plassmann Hall on campus. (The rain site is the University Chapel.)
All commencement participants and guests of all faith traditions are invited to the Baccalaureate Mass to be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, in the Reilly Center Arena. The public is welcome.
Saturday’s events also include the commissioning of ROTC cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at 10 a.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts; the Honors & Awards Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the Reilly Center Arena; and the Multicultural Stole Ceremony at 1 p.m. in the Quick Center for the Arts.
Commencement exercises begin at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17, in the Reilly Center Arena.
View a schedule of events at www.sbu.edu/commencement.
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