A collage of photos of Eduardo Vilaro and Patrick O'Shaughnessy as they spoke at Commencement ceremonies.
Eduardo Vilaro ’85 and Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13. Vilaro received his honorary degree and delivered his Commencement address at the ceremony for graduating seniors. Dr. O’Shaughnessy was honored and spoke at the ceremony for master's degree recipients.

Hear Eduardo Vilaro ’85, recognized by the Ford Foundation as one of “America’s Cultural Treasures,” talk about the impact of his Adelphi dance degree. And learn why Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13, president and CEO of Catholic Health, believes an education “builds great people.”

Every year at Commencement, Adelphi awards honorary degrees to individuals of remarkable accomplishment.

This year, the University honored two alumni who are leaders in their fields and their communities: Eduardo Vilaro ’85, artistic director and CEO of , and Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13, president and CEO of .

The honorees stand out not only for their successes. “They are inspiring proof that education and persistence offer endless possibilities,” President Christine Riordan said in introducing them.

The Addresses

“Inspire greatness in other people as you find the greatness in yourself.”

Vilaro, who was the first member of his family to earn a college degree, talks about the way his curiosity and passion were stirred by the conservatory-like atmosphere of Adelphi’s dance program. His advice to graduating seniors? Embrace who you are, and lead with empathy, kindness and curiosity.

“Changing the world begins by changing your small corner of it.”

Dr. O’Shaughnessy believes that starting small is the way to make a big impact. In his address to the graduating Class of 2024, he offered five pieces of advice the new advanced-degree holders can use to guide their careers and their lives.

Meet the Recipients

Eduardo Vilaro ’85

Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico

Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of 6, Eduardo Vilaro leads the largest Hispanic arts organization in the United States. Since graduating from Adelphi with an MFA in Dance, he has created more than 40 ballets, all devoted to capturing the Latin American experience. Initially a performer with Ballet Hispánico, in 2009 he became only the second person to lead the company, adding to its legacy by pursuing a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.

Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13

President and CEO of Catholic Health

Patrick O’Shaughnessy began his career practicing emergency medicine in a variety of settings for 17 years, including work supporting first responders and rescue efforts following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He is passionate about using his platform to address food insecurity, population management and providing greater access to care. Under his direction, Catholic Health has launched programs aimed at improving health, decreasing chronic disease in low-income families and offering easy access to healthcare services. An active board member of several health and educational organizations, Dr. O’Shaughnessy is the incoming chair of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

Read the recipients’ full biographies.

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