Commencement 2014

Honorary Degree Recipients

Rosanna Scotto

Rosanna Scotto

Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

FOX 5 News anchor Rosanna Scotto has been a member of WNYW-FOX 5 News for nearly three decades, engaging in a wealth of research, writing and reporting.

Ms. Scotto anchors “Good Day New York” airing every weekday in the nation’s largest metropolitan area.

She began her television career at WTBS in Atlanta, as a reporter for two local programs and an associate producer of the station’s evening news.

She returned to her native New York in the early 1980s as a reporter for WABC-TV’s “Good Morning New York,” which eventually became “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.” After a year with “Good Morning New York” and “The Morning Show,” Scotto joined WABC-TV “Eyewitness News” as a reporter, where she remained until she joined FOX 5 in 1986.

Having covered many major stories in the tri-state area, her assignments have also taken her across the United States and to Israel and Italy.

Ms. Scotto won a string of coveted assignments, including the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow child custody battle; the notorious “Preppie Murder” trial; the shocking trials of Joel Steinberg,

convicted of the death of a six-year-old girl; and the “Swiss Nanny” accused of murdering a baby. Many high-profile reports were cited nationally and internationally.

Ms. Scotto also led FOX 5 News to the forefront in getting Marty Tankleff a new trial and was granted an exclusive interview with him in jail. After 17 years of wrongful imprisonment, Tankleff’s conviction was overturned.

Viewers trust Ms. Scotto to know their communities and to inform them professionally.

She has won three Emmys for anchoring “FOX 5 News at 10” and “Good Day New York.”

She also received the 1995 New York State Associated Press First Place Award for her report, “New York Survival Guide,” and is the winner of three other Associated Press Awards, including two special Associated Press Award nominations.

In addition to awards for her professionalism, Ms. Scotto has received a host of honors for community service.

Ms. Scotto is a graduate of Catholic University of America, with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She lives in the New York area with her husband and their two children.

In recognition of her excellent service as a television anchor, with buoyant faith in the purpose of arts and literacy, Mount Saint Mary College proudly confers the honorary degree of doctor of letters upon Rosanna Scotto.


Robert DysonRobert R. Dyson

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Robert R. Dyson has a wide and impressive range of business interests and responsibilities.

He has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation since 1992. The privately owned, diversified investment company was founded by his father, Charles H. Dyson.

Robert Dyson also owns and manages an array of private investments. Earlier in his career, he was the founder/owner of a broadcasting group of Hudson Valley radio stations. Yet another interest and passion is Dyson Racing, based in Poughkeepsie. Mr. Dyson personally has twice garnered overall wins in the prestigious Daytona 24 Hour competition.

Civic and community leadership is also important to Mr. Dyson. He is chair of Health Quest Systems, the largest integrated health system in the mid-Hudson Valley. He is also a Trustee Emeritus of Cornell University, and previously served on the boards of many other organizations.

Mr. Dyson carries on a family tradition in his personal philanthropy and through the Dyson Foundation, which he has led as president since 2000. In the mid-Hudson Valley, the foundation supports numerous organizations. A hallmark has been the Walkway Over the Hudson, a 1.25 mile formerly abandoned railroad bridge that was rebuilt into the longest elevated pedestrian trail in the world. In partnership with New York State government and other funders, the Dyson Foundation spearheaded this project and spent close to $17 million on the Walkway, which has attracted 1.8 million visitors since its opening in 2009.

At Mount Saint Mary College, he provides the Dyson Leadership Scholarship. Selected recipients must reside in the Hudson Valley, meet traditional admissions criteria, and represent at least one of the following: first-generation college student, a minority population, or significant economic need. Dyson Leadership Scholars commit to a year of leadership development training and service at the Mount, and three years of volunteer service in the Hudson Valley community.

Mr. Dyson is a graduate of Marietta College with an economics degree, and of Johnson Graduate School of Economics at Cornell University with a master’s in business administration.

He lives in Millbrook, Dutchess County, NY, and has two children and three grandchildren.

In recognition of his long and distinguished business career, and his community-building and college support, Mount Saint Mary College proudly confers the honorary degree of doctor of laws upon Robert R. Dyson.


Sen. William Larkin Jr.The Honorable William J. Larkin, Jr.

Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Senator Bill Larkin is in his 35th year in the New York State Legislature, having served in the Assembly from 1979-1990, and State Senate since 1990. His district includes parts of Orange, Rockland, and Ulster Counties.

Senator Larkin’s community spirit and efforts for development, the great energy he brings to everything – from a government meeting regarding facilities or roads, to a talk with college students – bespeak the essence of “public servant.”

His first Senate term saw the most sweeping changes in veterans’ benefits laws in 30 years and increased financial protections for families of U.S. military personnel.

A United States Army veteran with 23 years of active service, William Larkin was awarded the Legion of Merit, seven Army Commendation Medals, a Battle Star for the Philippines and six Battle Stars for the Korean War. He was appointed Army Project Officer for the visit of President John F. Kennedy, Jr. to Germany in 1963, and for Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, he served as an executive assistant in the State Senate, and supervisor of the Town of New Windsor, NY, before running for State Legislature.

Senator Larkin is Republican Conference Whip, and serves on the committees for Corporations, Authorities & Commissions; Finance; Health; Insurance; Rules; Transportation; and Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs. He is co-chair of the Legislative Aviation Caucus.

Widely recognized for his insurance industry expertise, he was elected in 2001 as president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators: a bipartisan organization of state legislators whose primary area of public policy is insurance.

Senator Larkin gets things done. He started a nation-wide effort and the Postal Service issued the permanent Purple Heart “Forever” stamp to honor our military heroes. He established the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in the Hudson Valley. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and an honorary member of the West Point Society of New York.

A native of Troy, NY, Senator Larkin attended LaSalle Institute, the University of Maryland and University of Denver. He is married to Patricia Kurucz McGuirk Larkin. Between them they have eight children and 17 grandchildren.

In recognition of his extensive services to better our community, our state and our country, Mount Saint Mary College proudly confers the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters upon William J. Larkin, Jr.