Wagner College’s 2014 commencement speaker will be civil rights leader Julian Bond. Also being honored are Pat ’57 and Marion Dugan, co-founders of Charity Navigator, America’s premier online independent charity evaluator.
Commencement is scheduled for Friday, May 23 at 10 a.m. under the tent on the Sutter Oval.
The entire program will be streamed live. Just visit our website the morning of May 23 to open the viewing window.
Wagner will award 493 baccalaureate degrees, 217 master's degrees and two post-master's certificates at Friday's ceremony.
“Julian Bond has been the persistent conscience of the movement for equal rights,” said Wagner College President Richard Guarasci, “and, as such, is a critical voice in the march for freedom and equality.”
Julian Bond was virtually born into the civil rights movement in 1940. His father, historian and social scientist Horace Mann Bond, became the first black president of America’s oldest black private college, Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, in 1945. With two other historians, Horace Bond conducted the research on the history of education that helped the NAACP win its landmark Supreme Court case against segregated public schools, Brown v Board of Education, in 1954.
In 1960, while a student at Morehouse College, Julian Bond joined the civil rights movement himself, serving as communications director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and traveling throughout the South to organize voter registration drives.
After the federal Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts created opportunities in Georgia’s electoral process, Julian Bond was elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives. The Georgia House, however, voted not to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War draft. It took a U.S. Supreme Court decision to seat Bond in the House. Bond ran for re-election three times, and each time his electoral district was re-districted — yet still he won.
After four terms in the Georgia House, Julian Bond ran for the Georgia Senate, serving there from 1975 to 1987. He resigned to run for Congress in 1987, losing the Democratic primary to rival civil rights leader John Lewis.
In 1971, Julian Bond helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center, serving as board president from 1971 to 1979. Today, Bond is president emeritus of the SPLC.
Julian Bond taught at Drexel, American and Harvard universities and the University of Virginia in the 1980s and ’90s. It was during this period that he narrated the highly acclaimed PBS series, “Eyes on the Prize,” which recounted the history of the civil rights movement. He also hosted “America’s Black Forum,” a weekly television news program, from 1980 to 1997.
From 1998 to 2009, Julian Bond served as chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.
Today, Bond is a distinguished scholar in residence at American University and a history professor at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where he is co-director of Explorations in Black Leadership, which compiles interviews with black leaders for the Civil Rights History Project.
A video montage shown at the Paramount Theater by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Jan. 30, 2013, when Julian Bond was honored at the annual MLK Community Celebration.
JOHN ‘PAT’ DUGAN ’57 was born and raised on Staten Island. As a senior at St. Peter’s Boys’ High School, he was nudged by his mother into attending Wagner College, with some help from Dean Adolph Stern. After graduating in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology, he served a three-year term in the Coast Guard before enrolling in Boston University’s MBA program, which he completed at night while working full-time as a Pfizer sales representative.
In 1972, Pat founded Dugan Communications, a medical advertising agency. The firm later became known as Dugan Farley Communications Associates Inc., which Dugan led as president until 1990. A branch of the firm, Professional Detailing Inc. — later known simply as PDI — pioneered in the field of contract sales for pharmaceutical firms. After spinning it off the parent company, Pat took PDI public in 1998.
Pat Dugan was a founder and president of the Medical Advertising Agency Association from 1983 to 1984. He served on the board of directors of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council (now known as the Healthcare Marketing Communications Council Inc.) and was its president from 1985 to 1986. He served as president of the Putnam County Historical Society and was a Hudson Valley Hospital Center board member.
His most significant civic and philanthropic enterprise, however, is one he undertook with his wife Marion just 12 years ago: the founding of Charity Navigator, America’s premier online independent charity evaluator. The Dugans believed that people, on the whole, are amazingly generous and enjoy helping others, but are not always sure how to go about it. Charity Navigator helps charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by currently providing free information about more than 7,000 charities. By the end of the year, CN expects to cover 10,000 nonprofits, representing 90 percent of the money given by individual donors to charity.
MARION DUGAN was born and raised on Staten Island. She worked at the St. George branch of the New York Public Library while going to high school at Notre Dame Academy. She attended LeMoyne College in Syracuse and Notre Dame College on Staten Island. Once her children were in middle and high school, Marion completed her bachelor’s degree in Metropolitan Studies & Public Administration at Ramapo College in 1980.
Marion Dugan served on the Mahwah, N.J. Board of Education for 13 years, serving for 2 years as its president. Formerly an active member of Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey, she served on its board for 2 years. More recently, she was an active supporter of Safe Homes of Orange County, N.Y., which serves families who are victims of domestic violence.
As manager of the Dugan family finances, Marion was the first to become alarmed by allegations of mismanagement and malfeasance at several of the charities they supported, which was a significant motivation behind the creation of Charity Navigator, which she founded with her husband in 2002.
More recently, when a meltdown in world credit markets threatened to set off a global financial collapse in 2008, Pat and Marion Dugan endowed a scholarship fund at Wagner College to provide financial support to students whose financial need was such that they would not be able to attend without considerable assistance.