Business News

UCC to recognise one of America’s most powerful businesswomen

By Business & Finance
28 May 2014
UCC quad

One of America’s most powerful businesswomen will be among the four recipients of an honorary doctorate at University College Cork (UCC) on Friday, June 6th 2014.

Third-generation Irish American Kathleen Murphy is president of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments, a global financial services group with millions of individual investors. Murphy has repeatedly been named one of the ’50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune magazine. She is in good company, with the list also boasting the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo.

Murphy has also been named as one of the ‘Wall Street Top 50’ and ‘Business 100’ by Irish America magazine and named as one of the ’25 Most Powerful Women in Finance’ by US Banker, among other honours.

Murphy, a 25-year industry veteran, whose father’s family is from Cork and mother’s family from Kerry, oversees a business with more than $1.5trn in client assets under administration, more than 14 million customer accounts and over 12,000 employees. Her business is America’s No.1 provider of individual retirement accounts (IRAs), one of the largest brokerage businesses and one of the leading providers of college savings plans. Her role also extends to managing the firm’s brand and advertising programs, online and mobile presences, amongst others. She is an occasional guest on the CNBC news channel and has previously delivered a popular and inspiring TED Talk around financial planning, Murphy will receive a DEconSc (Degree of Doctor of Economic Science), with Prof. Ursula Kilkelly, head of College of Business & Law, UCC as introducer.

Prof. Benedict Anderson, Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government & Asian Studies at Cornell University in New York, is the second recipient. A renowned political scientist and author, he is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. A bestseller published in almost 30 different languages, it explores what makes people love and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name. He is a leading theorist of nationalism and an expert on the politics and culture of South East Asia, having published multiple books and articles.

Prof. Anderson was born in China to Anglo-Irish parents – his grandfather was Brigadier-General Sir Francis Anderson of Ballydavid, Co Waterford – but grew up in Ireland and California. He is the brother o f British historian Perry Anderson. He will receive a DLitt (Degree of Doctor of Literature) with Prof. Patrick O’Donovan, head of School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, UCC as introducer.

Pauline Oliveros, composer, accordionist, performer and author, is the third recipient. Oliveros is a leading figure in contemporary American music, her 60-year career having continuously pushed the boundaries of post-war electronic art music. She is distinguished researchprofessor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, and also serves as the Darius Milhaud Composer-in-Residence at Mills College, California. She is the founder of the Deep Listening Institute (DLC), based on a concept that she describes as a way of ‘listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what one is doing’. Oliveros is the recipient of the 2009 William Schuman Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement, amongst other awards. She will receive a DMus (Degree of Doctor of Music), with Dr John Godfrey, Lecturer, School of Music, UCC as introducer.

Prof. Dinesh Singh, vice chancellor at Delhi University is the final recipient. In his current role, he has been instrumental in bringing about a range of new reforms aimed at improving the student experience and the relevance of university to employers, students and the wider community. These include not only a new four-year curriculum and research-focused, interdisciplinary innovation centres, but also innovative extracurricular programmes like the quirky ‘Gyanodaya Express’, akin to a college on wheels. Through an educational train journey, it seeks to expose students to the many issues that face modern India. By focusing on global challenges, he has sought to create a new generation of student leaders who can tackle development issues, such as those facing India’s rural communities and slum dwellers. Prof. Singh has published numerous research papers in international and national journals and is the recipient of numerous academic awards and prizes. In recognition of his enormous contributions at the highest levels of science and education, the President of India decorated him in 2014 with the third highest civilian award in India – Padma Shri. Prof. Singh will receive a DSc (Degree of Doctor of Science), with Prof. Patrick Fitzpatrick, former Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science, UCC as introducer.

The annual ceremony recognises individuals who have distinguished themselves nationally or internationally, through their scholarship, creativity, public service or contribution to social, cultural, sporting or economic life.