“Passages” author Gail Sheehy Announced as Commencement Speaker, June 3

On Saturday, June 3, Goodwin College will hold its 18th Commencement on the grounds of the main campus at One Riverside Drive in East Hartford. As of April 10, more than 269 graduates are expected to walk in the annual ceremony that celebrates their earning certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees in a number of degree programs. That number is expected to rise significantly closer to the date of the event.

Commencement begins at 10 a.m. and will include remarks from Goodwin president Mark Scheinberg, board of trustees chair Dr. Maria Ellis, the 2017 valedictorian, and a student speaker selected by the College community.

This year’s honorary degree recipient is world-renowned author and journalist Gail Sheehy, who has changed the way millions of people worldwide look at the stages of their lives. In her 50 years as a writer, she has interviewed thousands of women and men and written 17 books. Her earliest revolutionary book, Passages, was named by a Library of Congress survey one of the ten most influential books of our times. Passages remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for more than three years and has been reprinted in 28 languages. In five other books on the passages theme, she revisits the stages of adult life: Understanding Men’s Passages, The Silent Passage; Sex and the Seasoned Woman, and Passages in Caregiving.

As a literary journalist, Sheehy was one of the original contributors to New York magazine and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984. She has covered national and world leaders and broken many cultural taboos. She culminated a decade of following Hillary Clinton for Vanity Fair with the biography, Hillary’s Choice, exploring the personal ambitions and vulnerabilities that drive the world’s most public woman. She has written about the character and psychology of national leaders including both Presidents Bush, Robert Kennedy, Barack Obama, Anwar Sadat, and Margaret Thatcher. She is a seven-time recipient of the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award for distinguished journalism and three-time winner or finalist for National Magazine Awards.  In 2013, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Books for a Better Life.

Passing 70, Sheehy decided it was time she turned the lens on herself and wrote a memoir about her own passages. The book is DARING: My Passages, published William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It inspires young women to dream big, take risks, outlive early failures, and build toward success with meaning and social purpose by midlife.

Members of the media are invited to attend the Goodwin Commencement and are encouraged to contact Rob Muirhead, Media Relations Coordinator, at 860-913-2033 or rmuirhead@goodwin.edu. Early arrival is suggested; parking is expected to be at full capacity. In addition to the lots at One Riverside Drive, additional parking is available at the Connecticut River Academy (9 Riverside Drive), the Riverside Magnet School (29 Willowbrook Road), and the Goodwin College Business and Manufacturing Center (1 Pent Road). Shuttle service will be available. Handicapped parking will be available at One Riverside Drive and between 167 and 195 Riverside Drive; staff will be on hand to direct guests.