On Saturday, May 17, David Livingston, PhD, will confer degrees on more than 460 graduates during his first commencement ceremony as Lourdes University’s 9th president. Ann Anderson Stranahan and Toledo Museum of Art director Brian Kennedy, PhD, are this year’s honorary doctoral degree recipients. Dr. Kennedy will also give the Commencement Address.

Lourdes 2014 commencement will take place at the SeaGate Convention Centre (401 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo) at 1 p.m.  Prior to the ceremony, a baccalaureate will be held in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on Lourdes’ campus at 10 a.m.     

Honorary degree portraits     

Brian Kennedy, BA, MA, PhD

Brian Kennedy has been president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art since 2010. He came to the Museum with extensive experience in senior leadership positions at art museums in Ireland, Australia and the United States.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Dr. Kennedy studied art history and history at University College in Dublin, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. A strategic thinker and collaborative leader, he has overseen the development of a strategic plan for the Toledo Museum of Art, integrating it strongly into the community, focusing on sustainability, especially with alternative energy sources, building staff capacity, introducing new technologies and developing a nationally recognized initiative to promote visual literacy. Diverse exhibition programming and significant art acquisitions have enhanced Toledo’s reputation.

From 2005-2010, Dr. Kennedy was director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, which has one of the largest and finest art collections at an American college or university. Prior to coming to the United States, Kennedy spent eight years as assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (1989-1997) and seven years as director of the National Gallery of Australia (1997-2004) in Canberra. While in Australia, he initiated a free admission policy, increased attendance through a series of major exhibitions and acquisitions, and oversaw a total building refurbishment as well as an expansion to accommodate major temporary exhibitions.

Dr. Kennedy is a respected art historian, curator and author of seven books. He is a past chair of the Irish Association of Art Historians (1996-97) and of the Council of Australian Art Museum Directors (2001-03). He is a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums and a member of the International Association of Art Critics. In 2003 he was awarded a Centenary of Federation medal by the Australian Government and in 2014, he received the Northwest Region Ohio Art Education Association’s award for Distinguished Educator for Art Education.

Ann Anderson Stranahan, BA, MFA

Ann Anderson Stranahan was born in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Smith College with a BA in Art History in 1957, and became an instructor at the Toledo Museum of Art. For 57 years she has maintained a lively volunteer presence in northwest Ohio.

Elected to the WGTE-TV Board of Trustees in 1967, Mrs. Stranahan marshaled the resources that would ultimately enable an unknown educational television station to become WGTE Public Media; this work led to 10 years as a director of The Public Broadcasting Service in Washington, DC. Additional board service has included The Junior League of Toledo, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund, Lourdes University, and Maumee Valley Country Day School. In 1984, she created The Common Thread, which produced Laotian Hmong handwork for the upscale market. Mrs. Stranahan is currently a trustee of The Needmor Fund, which supports community organizing nationwide; and The Alliance for Paired Donation, which seeks to dramatically increase kidney transplants from altruistic living donors. She attends St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

A natural writer, Mrs. Stranahan’s lifelong endeavor has been to articulate the mission and needs of non-profit organizations with compelling language and imagery –– in addresses, discourse, development materials, and videotapes. In 1986, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University. Her first book of poetry, Window on the River, was published by Antrim House Books in 2011.

In addition to their civic and business interests in northwest Ohio, Ann’s family oversees the operation of a dude ranch, a cattle ranch, and a general store in northwest Colorado. With their Colorado neighbors, they have preserved thousands of acres of the alpine grazing land that is essential to maintaining our great western ranching heritage.

For additional information about Lourdes’ baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies, please visit www.lourdes.edu/commencement.