Alumnus, Former Trustees to be Honored at SJU Commencement

Monday, March 31, 2008

Saint Joseph's University is pleased to announce that it will recognize Brian '69 and Nancy Duperreault, Charles Kahn, Jr. and James Nevels with honorary degrees at the Class of 2008 commencement exercises. Mr. Duperreault will deliver an address during the undergraduate ceremony and Nevels at the graduate exercise. Commencement weekend will be held this year on Friday and Saturday, May 9-10. The graduate ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and the undergraduate ceremony at 3 p.m.

"The four individuals that will be honored at this year's commencement exercises are shining examples of service to others," said University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J. "They have been immeasurably influential to both Saint Joseph's University and the Philadelphia community at large and beyond, and they are certainly worthy of this special recognition."

Born in Paget, Bermuda and raised largely in the continental United States, Brian Duperreault has supported his alma mater in a variety of areas since his graduation in 1969. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees, sat on a presidential search committee and he and his wife are inaugural members of the Magis Society, among others. He is currently president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Co., Inc., and previously served as chairman of the ACE Limited and AIG insurance groups.

Nancy Duperreault has fostered a lifelong love of learning, attending Rider University and the University of Louisville before earning her bachelor's degree from Wilson College in 1972. She is an active advocate of the Jesuit pairing of religion and academia, acting as a Bible study fellowship leader for more than 15 years. Nancy is a director on the board of the Cornerstone Foundation, which provides aid worldwide to children, teens and adults in need, including the support of orphans in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.  She, Brian and their three sons have resided in New Jersey, Tokyo, New York and Texas. They currently live in Bermuda.

The Duperreaults will receive Doctor of Humanities degrees in the ceremony.


James Nevels, a former member of the University's Board of Trustees, is founder and chairman of the Swarthmore Group, an investment and financial advisory firm located in West Chester, Pa. The company is one of the largest minority-owned firms in the United States. Nevels presently serves as a board member for a number of organizations, including the Hershey Trust Company and the Tasty Baking Company. In December 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, which has been charged with overseeing the turnaround of the Philadelphia School System, the eighth largest school district in the United States. Nevels is a graduate of Bucknell University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He will be given a Doctor of Public Service degree.

Charles Kahn, Jr., a University trustee from 1985-94, is currently president of Kahn & Co. Real Estate. He entered the family business in 1946, after serving in the Marine Corps in World War II and completing his bachelor's degree in economics at Franklin & Marshall College. He has served as president of the Philadelphia Board of Realtors and the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors. Motivated by an intense commitment to the community, Kahn has acted and continues to act as a board member or real estate consultant to a host of institutions in the Philadelphia area, including the American Jewish Committee (where he also served as board chairman), several distinguished universities and colleges, area hospitals, churches and community organizations such as the Police Athletic League and the YMCA. In 1998, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from B'nai Brith. He will be honored with a Doctor of Commercial Science degree.

--Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.)

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