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Chestnut Hill, MA (May 8, 2017) – Pine Manor College announced today that Dr. Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, and Katrina Shaw, CEO of Freedom House, will each receive an honorary degree at the College’s Commencement ceremony on May 14th.

In selecting Dr. Chang and Ms. Shaw, the Pine Manor College Board of Trustees highlighted their significant work and long-standing commitment to advancing education accessibility and excellence in the city of Boston and beyond. “We cherish our unique partnership with the Boston Public Schools and with Freedom House,” said Thomas M. O’Reilly, President of Pine Manor College. “With 27% of PMC students from Boston and 20% from the Boston Public High Schools, our strong relationships allow us to provide a sense of community and smooth transitions to Pine Manor College, a home not far from home. Thanks to these and other vibrant partnerships in the City of Boston, Pine Manor College is able to successfully graduate students at three times the national average for the population that we serve, many graduates returning to their neighborhoods and giving back to their communities.”

Dr. Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools

In announcing Dr. Chang as PMC’s 2017 honorary degree recipient, Diane Mello-Goldner, Ph.D., Dean of the College, said: “It gives me great pleasure to share with you that our Board of Trustees voted to extend this honor to the Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. Dr. Chang, a native of Taiwan who immigrated with his family to the U.S. at the age of six, holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. His journey personifies the values and goals of Pine Manor College. Among Dr. Chang’s many achievements, is the development of the BPS Strategic Plan that puts each student’s educational experience at the center, reflecting the Pine Manor College vision of 'one student at a time'.”

“I am incredibly humbled to receive this honorary degree from Pine Manor College, an exemplary institution that helps many of our students continue on a successful path in career and life," said Dr. Tommy Chang. "Pine Manor shares our core value of equity and a commitment to empower all students to reach their highest potential through engaging and rigorous learning. Pine Manor College is a true partner in helping our students achieve their dreams.”

Katrina Shaw, CEO of Freedom House

“Katrina Shaw, the granddaughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the daughter of survivors of the Jim Crow South, is deeply committed to promoting social justice through education,” said Dean Staci Weber, Ph.D., Pine Manor College’s Dean of Student Affairs. “Katrina and her team’s commitment has enhanced our organizations through improving college access and opportunity for first generation college students. By opening the doors to joint talent development and by leading both organizations to think beyond themselves, Shaw ensures excellent service to the Greater Boston communities. She is a visionary leader who can see the challenges and potential in the journey ahead for each young student and can translate students’ needs into concrete programs and offerings.”

“I am so pleased to accept this honor from Pine Manor College, a private institution that so proudly embraces and fosters equality of cultures, complementing Freedom House’s mission to transform the economic and cultural fabric of Boston’s high need communities through education,” said Katrina Shaw. “As we began our partnership, I was struck by how diverse Pine Manor College’s student body is and how passionate faculty and staff are about our students, and are reaching out into the community to create accessibility and affordability for Boston students. It is clear to me that Pine Manor College and Freedom House enjoy shared values and shared mission. Both are built on the core belief that transformative education is the foundation for life-long opportunity, and that it is best provided through personal relationships of mentoring and coaching.”


Pine Manor College is a small, private four-year liberal arts college situated in the Chestnut Hill section of Brookline, Massachusetts, only a few miles outside of Boston. For over 100 years Pine Manor has provided a highly student-focused education and mentoring grounded in the liberal arts tradition. With 85% students of color, Pine Manor is one of the most diverse private colleges in the U.S. and offers Bachelors degrees in a variety of areas including Biology, Psychology, Community Health, Business & Management, and Early Childhood Education. The College focuses on pathways to careers through internships and organizational partnerships and academic programs that instill skills and competencies needed in today’s changing workplace. By partnering with private and public organizations, Pine Manor College creates experiential learning opportunities that lead to careers. As an example of our success, 100% of the class of 2016 were employed or pursuing advanced degrees within six months of graduation.


Learn more at

Efrat Zinnar-Shavit
Director of Media and Publications
Pine Manor College

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