Update: Civil Rights Icon Dr. Bob Zellner to Speak at Goodwin Commencement

Bob Zellner

On Saturday, June 6, Goodwin College will hold its 16th Commencement exercises on the grounds of its main campus at One Riverside Drive in East Hartford. The ceremony will celebrate the accomplishments of the students who worked hard to earn their certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. An estimated 440 graduates are expected to walk in the June 6 ceremony.


This year’s guest speakers include noted Civil Rights activist Dr. Bob Zellner, as well as longtime leader of Riverfront Recapture, Inc., Joseph R. Marfuggi. Zellner was mentored by Dr. Martin Luther King, helped call attention to Civil Rights issues in the deep south, and is currently walking from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. to help draw attention to healthcare needs of rural communities. Marfuggi worked for the Riverfront Recapture organization for more than 27 years, advocating tirelessly to increase public access to the CT River.

The Commencement ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m., and will also include remarks from Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg and valedictorian Lee Housley. This year’s selected student speaker is James Tillman, who is receiving his associate degree in Human Services. Tillman enrolled at Goodwin after being exonerated of a wrongful conviction for which he spent over 18 years in prison. Tillman recently published his book The Power of Conviction: My Wrongful Conviction, 18 Years in Prison, and the Freedom Earned Through Forgiveness and Faith.

Members of the media are invited to attend 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 Dental Hygiene and Ophthalmic Science Building (403 Main Street). Shuttle service will be available.