Ellen Mooney Hancock and Lillian Roberts Receive Special Honors
NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The College of New Rochelle (CNR) awarded more than 600 baccalaureate and more than 200 master’s degrees to graduates of its four schools during Commencement Exercises at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan on Tuesday, May 19.
Special honors were bestowed on Ellen Mooney Hancock, a CNR graduate and nationally recognized technology leader, and Lillian Roberts, the recently retired Executive Director of District Council 37 union, during the College’s 108th Commencement. Hancock received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and Roberts received the Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, O.S.U. Woman of Conscience Award.
Ellen Mooney Hancock
Ellen Mooney Hancock received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from The College of New Rochelle, where she received her undergraduate BS degree in Mathematics. Hancock, who has held leading positions in several highly recognized technology companies, was chosen for being a leader in the field of technology, and for inspiring and empowering others to push the boundaries of mediocrity.
Hancock began her career at IBM where she worked for 29 years in various staff and executive positions. She was appointed Vice President in 1985 and the first female Senior Vice President in 1992. Continuing her ascent in a highly competitive field, she was ultimately named Senior Vice President and Group Executive, where she oversaw 15,000 employees in the networking hardware and software divisions.
As a nationally recognized technology leader and industry trailblazer, Hancock became the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at National Semiconductor in 1995, where she was responsible for the company's technology, applications, and product development. Shortly thereafter, Hancock went on to serve as Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Technology Officer with Apple Computer. In addition to overall technical strategy at Apple, she was in charge of research, quality and assurance, multimedia and networking software development.
Hancock then joined Exodus Communications, a frontrunner in complex Internet hosting and managed services. She served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President through 2001 and was ranked fifth on Fortune magazine’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.” Hancock continued to seek and hold positions of prodigious leadership, serving as President of Jazz Technologies and President and Chief Operating Officer of its predecessor, Acquicor Technology, from 2005 to 2007.
Currently, Hancock is on the Board of Directors at both Colgate Palmolive and Aetna. She is a Trustee of the Pacific Council and Springboard, and she serves on an advisory board at the RAND Corporation. She is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Marist College, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Committee of 200 Women Executives, on the Board of Santa Clara University and is Chair of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. Hancock holds a master's degree in mathematics from Fordham University and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of Western Connecticut.
A strong force in New York City Labor, Lillian Roberts was selected to receive this year’s Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, O.S.U. Woman of Conscience Award, honoring a woman who embodies the exceptional combination of compassion, conviction, values, and vision. This award was established by the Board of Trustees in 1997 in recognition of Sister Dorothy Ann’s 25th anniversary as president of the College. The award “recognizes and celebrates the moral leadership of women who, by acts of conscience, have elevated humanity.”
Dubbed, “Labor’s Leading Lady,” Roberts served four terms as the first female Executive Director of District Council 37, New York City’s largest public employee union, during which time she revitalized the union. Roberts was also Vice President of New York State’s American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization, a Vice President of the New York City Central Labor Council, and Co-Chair of the Municipal Labor Committee. Through her steadfast efforts, Roberts led the fight to deliver equality, equitable benefits, and education to more than 125,000 public workers and 50,000 retirees in New York.
One of the life changing benefits Roberts was instrumental in introducing was the establishment of the DC 37 Education Fund which provided access to higher education. The largest union-based adult education program in the United States, the fund still makes it possible for union workers to earn a bachelor’s degree. The unique partnership between District Council 37 and The College of New Rochelle resulted in the School of New Resources DC 37 Campus in 1972. This four-year degree program has become the paradigm for unions nationwide and a premier example of accessibility to a quality and affordable education. The DC 37 Campus has enabled countless union members, retirees, and New York City Board of Education Family Service paraprofessionals to earn a college degree.
Named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by the Network Journal in 2010, Roberts advocated for and championed professional empowerment for all union employees. In 2006, the United Negro College Fund presented her with a Distinguished Leadership Award. That same year, she was appointed to the New York State September 11th Workers Protection Task Force. Roberts holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from The College of New Rochelle and served as an esteemed member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1989.
Roberts received the NAACP Roy Wilkins Award, the First Lady of Labor Award from the Episcopal Churchwomen, the Freedom Fighter Award from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Triumph Award for Advocacy from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. and the Clara Lemlich Public Service Award from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial leaders for her efforts to reform workers’ compensation and benefits and improve occupational safety in New York State.