Adelphi University will recognize two inspiring leaders, and alumni, with honorary degrees at its Commencement ceremonies at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on Tuesday, May 21.

Two men wearing suits. One standing and the other sitting on a chair.

Pictured left to right: Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13, FACEP, and Eduardo Vilaro ’85

Eduardo Vilaro ’85, artistic director and chief executive officer of Ballet Hispánico, will deliver the Commencement address at Adelphi’s undergraduate student ceremony, and Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health, will deliver the Commencement address at the graduate student ceremony.

“From the beauty of dance and the embrace of cultures that make us unique, to the power of the health sciences to improve lives and show care for others, these individuals represent not only the success of our alumni community but also the extraordinary difference our graduates make in our world,” said Christopher Storm, PhD, executive vice president and provost at Adelphi.

Eduardo Vilaro ’85, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico

Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. As the largest Latino cultural organization in the United States, Ballet Hispánico’s three main programs, the Company, School of Dance and Community Arts Partnerships, bring together communities to celebrate the ever-growing and multifaceted Hispanic diasporas.

Vilaro, an award-winning choreographer and advocate of the arts, is a well-respected speaker on such topics as diversity, equity and inclusion in the arts, as well as on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.

Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of 6, Vilaro’s choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. A Ballet Hispánico dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, Vilaro left New York, earned a master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and then embarked on his act of advocacy with a 10-year record of achievement as founder and artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago.

Vilaro’s works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, Chicago Sinfonietta, Grant Park Music Festival, Lexington Ballet Company and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community.

The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Vilaro received the Ruth Page Award for choreography in 2001; was inducted into The Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016; and was awarded HOMBRE magazine’s 2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, he received The West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts and was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In August 2020, City & State New York magazine included Vilaro in the inaugural Power of Diversity: Latino 100 list. In January 2021, he was recognized with a Compassionate Leaders Award, given to courageous, contemplative, collaborative leaders who care about the world they will leave behind. In May 2022, he was honored to serve as a grand marshal of the 2022 Dance Parade. Also in 2022, Vilaro was named one of Forbes magazine’s Kings of Culture: Legends of Business.

Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA ’13, FACEP, President and CEO of Catholic Health

Beginning his Catholic Health career as an emergency department physician, “Dr. O” is an accomplished executive with more than 20 years of strategy, innovation and operations experience. Selected by Catholic Health’s board to serve as president and CEO in 2021, Dr. O’Shaughnessy is passionate about using his platform to address food insecurity, population health management and to provide greater access to care.

Dr. O’Shaughnessy earned his medical degree from the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine and then completed training in emergency medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He practiced emergency medicine in a variety of settings over a 17-year clinical career, culminating in supporting first responders and rescue efforts during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He holds master’s degrees in business administration from Adelphi University and in population health management from Thomas Jefferson University.

Catholic Health is an integrated system of health and human services agencies with nearly 16,000 employees, six acute care hospitals, three nursing homes, a home health service, hospice and a network of physician practices. Under Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s direction, it has launched programs aimed at improving health and decreasing the risk of chronic disease in low-income individuals and families by offering easy access to healthcare services, including advanced primary care, preventative screenings and making use of digital technology to better identify disease at an earlier state. Believing that food is medicine, he has aligned Catholic Health’s resources to provide healthy food and patient-tailored nutrition and disease-related information to individuals identified as food insecure.

Dr. O’Shaughnessy sits on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and serves on the board of the New York Institute of Technology. He also serves as secretary of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) board and on the American Hospital Association’s Health Care Strategy & Innovation Committee. Additionally, he is the incoming chairman of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). Crain’s New York Business named Dr. O’Shaughnessy to its 2022 Notable Health Care Leaders list and Top 100 Healthcare list in 2023. He is also a member of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council.

Learn more about Adelphi’s 2024 Commencement ceremonies.

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