First Lady of Ghana to speak at Fordham commencement

lordina mahamaDeparting from a historic pattern of white male speakers, Fordham announced that Nana Lordina, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2015 during Fordham’s 170th Commencement on Saturday, May 16 at Rose Hill.

“Nana Lordina, wife of H. E. John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, is national president of the Lordina Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that works with partner companies and agencies to make health care more accessible in Ghana and to expand educational opportunities,” school officials said in a press release. “In addition to working on behalf of the disadvantaged, she strives to advance the cause of educating women and girls as a way to improve communities worldwide.”

“In conferring an honorary degree upon Mrs. Mahama, it is we who are honored,” said Joseph M. McShane, SJ, president of Fordham. “Her work with women and children in Ghana and across Africa reminds us of persistence of kindness and the will to make a difference in the world.”

Fordham will also award honorary doctorates of humane letters to:

  • Retired Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Douglas M. Brooks, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy
  • His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Archbishop of Havana
  • William Loschert, GABELLI ’61, former Fordham trustee and retired chairman of ACE Global Markets
  • Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor Emeritus of the City University of New York
  • Dennis M. Walcott, GSS ’80, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education

[Full statement]