Keene State College has announced an honorary-degree recipient, as well as two special recognitions planned for next month’s commencement ceremony.
As more than 700 students receive their undergraduate degrees, Alice Wairimu Nderitu will be given an honorary doctorate of humane letters, and Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry of Walpole will be recognized with the 2022 Granite State Award. In addition, a to-be announced student will be honored with the Leo F. Redfern Outstanding Citizenship Award.
That award is the highest that can be given to a student at Keene State and recognizes a dedication to, and engagement with, the local and college communities, a news release from the college says.
Nderitu serves as special adviser on the prevention of genocide to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and her honorary degree recognizes “her distinguished career dedicated to peaceful conflict transformation and innovative approaches to mediation,” according to the release.
Her biography on the United Nations’ website says that, among many other roles, she served as commissioner of Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission and was a founding member and co-chair of the Uwiano Platform for Peace. She also founded Community Voices for Peace and Pluralism, through which African female professionals work to prevent and combat ethnic, racial and religious conflict around the globe.
According to Keene State, Nderitu gave the keynote address at the college’s 2021 Summer Institute on Genocide Studies and Prevention, and the college says she plans to do the same for seminars in the future.
Goldsberry is president of the Endowment for Health in Concord, a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the health of New Hampshire residents. Before that, she was vice president of population health and clinical integration at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene.
According to Keene State, the Granite State Award honors those “who have made exemplary contributions to the people of New Hampshire.”
“Dr. Goldsberry is recognized for her difference-making work to improve the health and well-being of N.H.’s citizens, especially underserved and vulnerable populations, not just in her current nonprofit leadership role but over the course of a long and distinguished career marked by similar focus,” the release says, adding that she’s been “a voice, an advocate, a leader, a coalition-builder, and a compassionate executive committed to bold visions and life-changing outcomes.”
Keene State’s commencement is scheduled for May 7 at Fiske Quad.