Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

2011 Commencement and Bacculaureate Speakers Announced
Thursday, 23 June 2011 16:05

2011 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker: Ambassador Beatrice Wilkinson Welters '74

Purchase, NY Manhattanville College is pleased to announce U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Beatrice Wilkinson Welters, as its keynote speaker for the College's 170th Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, on Saturday, May 21st beginning at 11:00 am on the main campus quad. Ambassador Welters, who began her official duties in Trinidad on May 4, 2010, will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony.

"We are delighted to welcome back Ambassador Welters, a graduate of Manhattanville, to her alma mater, and we are extremely proud of her many accomplishments which will be an inspiration to our newest graduates" states Molly Easo Smith, president, Manhattanville College. "As a leader and philanthropist with a demonstrated commitment to civic engagement and helping underserved youth, she is an exemplar of the core values of Manhattanville College."

Before her appointment as ambassador, she spent nearly 30 years in civic organizations aimed at expanding educational, career, and cultural opportunities for people around the world, with a particular focus on youth.

Ambassador Welters' passion for assisting underprivileged youth remains her top priority as the Founder and Chairman of the AnBryce and Vincent Wilkinson Foundations, which focus on the personal and scholastic development of underserved youth and young adults. An affiliate of the AnBryce Foundation, she created the Camp Dogwood Summer Academy residential camp, located in Wolftown, Virginia, which accommodates over 90 campers each summer ages 6-15. After summer camp, participants continue to receive academic assistance from the foundation through its after school and Saturday academic enrichment programs in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

In addition, the AnBryce Foundation, through its partnership with New York University School of Law, provides 30 full-tuition scholarships to students of high merit who come from backgrounds of severe economic disadvantage and are the first in their families to attend graduate school. The foundation recently began a similar program at the undergraduate level.

Since assuming her post, Ambassador Welters has made a notable impact on the relationship between the United States and the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. She has played a key role in implementing the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which is a shared partnership that strengthens regional security by promoting social justice, increasing public safety, and reducing illicit contraband trafficking throughout the Caribbean. Ambassador Welters also signed the U.S. - Caribbean HIV/AIDS Partnership Framework that will provide $4.8 million to help combat HIV/AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago.

Her other priorities include disaster preparedness in a region prone to earthquakes and tropical storms; outreach to women and children, especially those at risk of domestic violence; providing a wide range of anti-crime, counter-terrorism and general security assistance; and assisting American citizens traveling to Trinidad and Tobago and to U.S. businesses interested in doing business there.

Ambassador Welters was a past Presidential Appointee to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, serving on its Executive Committee. She also served on the Library of Congress Madison Council and as a Trustee for the Brookings Institute, the Aspen Institute, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Jesuit Academy, and the Maret School.

Ambassador Welters earned her undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College in 1974 and her graduate degree from the City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and is the recipient along with her husband Anthony Welters '74 of the 2008 Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

2011 Graduate Commencement Speaker: Incoming Dean of Graduate & Professional Studies Dr. Anthony Davidson

Purchase, NY After fifteen years of teaching and developing curricula at major universities in the New York area, Dr. Davidson became Professor and Director of Graduate Programs at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He was subsequently asked to become the founding Dean of the Division in Business. He has spent the past 25 years leading organizations and managing key initiatives across a wide range of industries.

While at NYU, Dr. Davidson conceptualized and established 14 graduate programs that deliver specialized knowledge in the areas of IT, Risk Management, Strategy & Leadership, Human Resource Management, Public Relations, Integrated Marketing, Project Management, and Health Care Management, in an applied, interdisciplinary business context.

Dr. Davidson also ran a very successful Business Mastery Certificate program in the Dominican Republic which resulted in leading an advisory group to address President Fernandez, government ministers, National Bank and senior business leaders at an economic summit held in the Dominican Republic. He also consults to C-level management of corporations, not-for-profits and government in a variety of companies in the technology, education, financial services, consumer products, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, construction, real estate, oil, travel, and not-for-profit industries.

Dr. Davidson is the author/co-author of over 50 publications, keynote speeches and presentations on various business topics, training, and development, and has been quoted in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Crain's New York Business, HR Magazine, and Fortune Magazine. He was the winner of the Literati Club Award for Excellence for the Outstanding Paper of the Year in TQM Magazine. His contributions to bridging the gap between education and the professional world have been recognized since 2004 in Marquis Publications' Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Education.

Dr. Davidson has a Ph.D. in Management and Systems Science from the Cass Business School, City University of London and an MBA and BBA from Baruch College, City University of New York.

Dr. Davidson is a member of the Executive Advisory Board for E-Learn, the Board of Trustees for Med-Smart, and various Advisory Boards for businesses and not-for-profits and charitable organizations.

2011 Baccalaureate and Honors Convocation Speaker:

President of Roehampton University (London, UK) Dr. Paul O'Prey

Purchase, NY Dr. Paul O'Prey was appointed President of Roehampton University in London in 2004, where he also holds a Chair in Modern Literature. He was formerly Director of Academic Affairs at the University of Bristol, and played a major role in the development and implementation of academic strategy at Bristol, in both research and education, and was particularly responsible for a major initiative to improve the social diversity of the University. Dr. O'Prey as President of Roehampton University is a signatory along with Manhattanville College and Maryville University, of the Duchesne Alliance, the first of several Global Portals that Manhattanville College will initiate in the future.

Born in Southampton, on the south coast of England, the youngest of five children, Dr. O'Prey's schooling was interrupted by a serious case of tuberculosis, which meant a year confined to bed and kept in isolation. That was when he discovered a love of literature, which led him to win a place to study English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He was the first person in his family to receive a higher education.

Dr. Prey left Oxford to work for the eminent British poet and novelist Robert Graves, at his home in Mallorca, Spain, where he assisted in working with Grave's wife, Beryl, on the creation of a major archive of the poet's papers which is now housed in a special collection at St John's College, Oxford.

Dr. Prey's first book was a biographical study of Graves told through his letters with other eminent writers such as T.S. Eliot and Gertrude Stein. This work was published in two volumes: In Broken Images and Between Moon and Moon, published in the UK and USA between 1982 and 1985.

He was also asked to edit the standard edition of Graves's Poems, published by Penguin Books. Dr. Prey's other publications include the first full critical study of the novels of the English novelist Graham Greene, an edition of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and, with Lucia Graves, Robert's daughter, he wrote the first UK translation of the Spanish nineteenth century classic novel, Los Pazos de Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán. He has also written and lectured widely on Graves and on the poetry of war

Dr. Prey received his doctorate at the University of Bristol, one of the UK's leading research universities, and sits on a number of national bodies, including the Board of the national body for universities in the UK. He also chairs its committee on Long-term Strategy, and sits on a Government committee to encourage effective leadership in universities. He is President of the War Poets Association and has close links with the Imperial War Museum in London.

About Manhattanville College:

Manhattanville College ( is an independent, co-educational liberal arts institution whose mission is to prepare students, through rigorous academic and co-curricular programs, for ethically and socially responsible service and leadership within a global community. Located just 30 minutes from New York City, Manhattanville serves 1,700 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students from 66 countries and 33 states. Founded in 1841, the College offers more than 50 undergraduate areas of study in the arts and sciences and offers graduate programs in Education, Business, Writing, Liberal Studies, and Continuing Education.


Casey Tolfree

Office of Communications

(914) 323-5375