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I chose Curry because I really enjoyed the campus feel, I felt safe there. I also looked at the students and I saw me. I felt like I could relate to them. I felt comfortable and that was really important-just fitting in.


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James T. Brett Receives Honorary Degree at Curry College Commencement

May 20, 2012

James T. Brett received an Honorary Degree at Curry's Commencement ceremony in Milton, Massachusetts on Sunday, May 20, 2012. Curry College awarded Mr. Brett a Doctor of Laws degree.

James T. Brett, President and Chief Executive Officer of The New England Council, was appointed to those positions by the Council's board of directors in October 1996.

The Council, a nationally respected and influential regional organization, was established in 1925.  It is an alliance of schools, hospitals, corporations, and other private organizations throughout New England, working together to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region.  It identifies and supports federal policies of importance to New England, and advocates for its membership regionally and nationally.

Before joining the Council, Mr. Brett served for more than fifteen years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.  He held a succession of important leadership positions, including the chairmanship of two of the most significant committees in the Massachusetts legislature, Banking and the Committee on Taxation.  In these positions, he brought together various constituencies to create economic opportunity for the Commonwealth's citizens and businesses.

Mr. Brett is Chairman of The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Chairman of the Governor's Commission on Intellectual Disability.  He also served as Co-Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Inpatient Study Commission.  Mr. Brett is a member of the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, The Missionary Society of Saint James the Apostle, Torino, Italy, Rodman Ride for Kids and the Inflammatory Breast Center.  He serves on the Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps, The New England Center For Children and The Irish Immigration Center.  Mr. Brett is also a member of the Board of Advocates of Bay Cove Human Services, Inc. and serves on the Advisory Board of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester.  He is an Honorary Board of Directors Member of Special Olympics Massachusetts, a member of the Campaign Advisory Council, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, National Advisory Board of the National Autism Center, College Ready New England (CRNE) Board of Advisors, Early Education for All (EEA) Campaign Advisory Committee as well as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance and the Mary Ann Brett Food Pantry.

Mr. Brett is a former trustee of the Shriver Center, Catholic Charities, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Sisters of Saint Joseph Aids Education Ministry, Carney Hospital and Franklin Pierce University, as well as former board member of Project Bread, the Notre Dame Education Center, Marian Manor Nursing Home, and the Laboure Center Advisory Board. Mr. Brett is also a former member of the Board of Advisors of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a former member of the Advisory Board to the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School.

Mr. Brett is a member of the Knights of Malta, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, and the Royal Brotherhood of the Order of Saint Michael of the Wing.  He is also a member of The Charitable Irish Society.

While a legislator, Mr. Brett was formally honored on several occasions by labor, human service, and law enforcement organizations for outstanding public service.  Many other groups honored him as "Legislator of the Year," and organizations such as, Friends of the John F. Kennedy Library, Central Remedial Clinic in Ireland, and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers have publicly honored him for his service.

Mr. Brett was named the 2011 New Englander of the Year by The New England Council in recognition of his extraordinary commitment, leadership and contributions to the economy and quality of life in New England.

Mr. Brett has continued to be a tireless advocate for the physically and mentally challenged, and has been recognized for his humanitarian work by Action for Boston Community Development (Lifetime Public Service Award) and Hospice of Boston (Humanitarian of the Year).  In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of
Boston named a new community home for disabled adults "Brett House" in his honor.  Mr. Brett also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from Massachusetts Special Olympics in 2008.  In recognition of his national contributions to the field of intellectual disability, the Boston Red Sox designated Mr. Brett, Disability Advocate (2009 and 2011), which included the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park.

Mr. Brett is a recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, an Honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree from Westfield State College and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, honoris causa from Salem State University.

In addition to a Bachelor's degree from American University, Mr. Brett holds Master's degrees in Public Administration from both Suffolk University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mr. Brett and his wife Patricia reside in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

 
 
 
 

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