Foot Locker CEO Keith Daly, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno to be Springfield College Commencement SpeakersMay 1, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 1, 2009 – Keith T. Daly, president and chief executive officer of Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Footaction USA, divisions of Foot Locker, Inc., and Domenic J. Sarno, mayor of Springfield, Mass., will give commencement addresses at Springfield College’s 2009 ceremonies. Daly will address undergraduates on May 17, at 9:30 a.m., at the MassMutual Center, in downtown Springfield, and Sarno will speak to graduate students on May 16, at 9:30 a.m., on Naismith Green, on the college campus.
Daly and Sarno will receive honorary doctor of humanics degrees, as will Springfield College trustees Helen Davis Blake, James Frank and James E. Walsh. Springfield College has, historically, awarded honorary degrees to a few outstanding individuals who, by their character and accomplishments, personify the college’s guiding philosophy, humanics. Humanics emphasizes the dedication of spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others.
Daly has held increasingly responsible positions in the athletics industry, with a concentration in retail, during his 30-year career. He began with Kinney Shoe Corporation, a division of Foot Locker, Inc., and moved up the ranks in Foot Locker divisions in the United States and Europe. Foot Locker, Inc. is a specialty athletic retailer that operates approximately 3,600 stores in 21 countries in North America, Europe and Australia.
A 1975 graduate of Springfield College, Daly earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, was captain of the basketball team in 1973-74, and received the John Bunn Award for ethics and leadership. He completed the Executive Management and Development program at the Southern Methodist University School of Business in 2001.
Daly has been chairman and a member of the board of directors of the National Sporting Goods Association. He is on the board of the Two Ten Foundation, an organization dedicated to educational programs and social services for employees of the footwear industry. He also plays an integral role in supporting the Foot Locker Foundation, which is dedicated to sports and educational initiatives for youth.
Sarno, elected mayor of Springfield in 2007, has led an administration characterized by responsiveness to citizens and by innovation and action to improve quality of life, education and public safety. His mayoral staff is the most ethnically diverse in the city's history.
A graduate of Westfield State College, Sarno earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and was inducted into the National Honor Society. He also studied political science at American International College. He is a former four-term city councilor, city council president, member of the Springfield Finance Control Board, and was executive director of the South End Community Center.
Blake is a retired mathematics teacher. In 2005, she accepted the position of co-chair of the largest and most successful comprehensive campaign in Springfield College’s history. The campaign closed in June 2008 at a record $44.5 million, exceeding its goal by more than eleven percent.
Blake has been a member of the Springfield College Board of Trustees since 1997. She has been vice chair since 2006, was secretary in 2005-2006, has been chair of two board committees, and has served on several board committees. She also served as a corporator for the college from 1984 to 1990. Blake earned her associate’s degree at Quinnipiac University, bachelor’s degree at Bates College, and master’s degree at Springfield College. She also completed advanced study at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Frank was the first African American and first college president to be secretary-treasurer and, later, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), serving at a time of revolutionary changes in the organization. He was also commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), and is widely credited with shaping SWAC into a viable, respected entity comprising ten historically black colleges.
Frank is one of very few who have risen through the collegiate ranks as a student-athlete, coach, professor, college president and conference commissioner. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Lincoln University, where he became a faculty member and head basketball coach. At Springfield College, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees. In 1964, he began a nine-year sequence of increasingly responsible academic positions at the City University of New York, culminating as vice president of Medgar Evers College. In 1973, he returned to Lincoln University as its president.
Walsh is a consultant to Baystate Environmental Consultants, Inc. and was a senior partner until his retirement in 2007. He has managed engineering design and environmental studies for governmental agencies, private industries, and environmental organizations on a wide range of projects throughout the Northeast for more than 35 years. He also has been managing partner of several commercial and residential real estate development projects in Western Massachusetts over the past 30 years.
Walsh earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Springfield College and became a faculty member in environmental studies and, later, chairman of the Department of Physics and Mathematics. He was chair of the college’s board of trustees from 2005 to 2008, after a year as vice chair. He also served as chair of several board committees and as a member of every board committee, at various times.
At its 123rd commencement, Springfield College will award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, and certificates of advanced graduate study.