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Adrianne Haslet

International Keynote Speaker and Boston Bombing Survivor

Adrianne Haslet

Adrianne Haslet was a professional ballroom dancer when she survived the terrorist attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon where she lost her left leg. She quickly rose to meet her daily challenges with fierce determination and Boston Strong strength. A full time dancer at the peak of her career, she had to learn an entirely new way to navigate her daily life. In the wake of the terror, she has become a global inspiration. Appearing in her own CNN documentary, the cover of Sports Illustrated, People, and Time magazine. She has been featured on all major media outlets globally. Adrianne hopes her emotional honesty will serve as an example to others looking to overcome adversity in their own lives.

Related: Former professional ballroom dancer and runner Adrianne Haslet, who survived the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, will serve as Commencement Speaker

She has spoken alongside then Vice President Biden, President Bill Clinton, the President of Nepal, and her debut TED talk has over 18+ million views. She travels the globe giving Keynote talks to thousands, including the commencement address at Baylor College of Medicine, talks in Kenya, Ecuador, Nepal, Ireland, Copenhagen, and a tour across Canada. She has been named one of Cosmo’s Most Powerful Women, and Bing's most Inspirational Women. Her most cherished award was being honored by the ADL at the Kennedy Center for her work speaking out against terrorism, anti-semitism, and hate.

Adrianne has a documentary detailing her first year as an amputee titled The Survivor Diaries which she did with Anderson Cooper. She speaks out against restrictions to Medicare, spearheaded the campaign to turn over the ‘one leg a lifetime’ law in New York, as well as Medicare's proposal to decline prosthetic coverage.

She has since become a distance runner, and ran in multiple Boston Marathons, most recently in April, coming in 4th place in the division she advocated for for six years. Just two months later, Adrianne took the win at the B.A.A. 10k. She is thrilled to announce her biggest project yet - starring in her own IMAX film that was just released on November 8th, that she filmed over the past five years. Adrianne’s quote “I refuse to be called a victim. A victim is defined by something that happened in their life. I am a survivor, defined by how I live my life.” rings true for everyone struggling with something in their own lives.

Michael Cox, MACJ '00

Police Commissioner, Chief, Boston Police Department (BPD)

Michael Cox, MACJ '00

Michael Cox is the Police Commissioner and Chief of the Boston Police Department (BPD). He most recently served as the Chief of Police of the Ann Arbor Police Department in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to his appointment to that position in 2019, Cox was a 30-year veteran of the Boston Police Department.

Cox last served in BPD as the Bureau Chief and Superintendent of the Bureau of Professional Development, overseeing the Boston Police Academy, the Firearms Training Unit, the Police Cadet Unit, Recruit training and in-service training for all sworn Boston Police personnel.

He served a total of 15 years on the Command Staff in a variety of positions. Cox served as the commander of the Operations Division, primarily responsible for the Emergency 9-1-1 Response Services for the City of Boston. In addition, he was previously assigned to the head of Internal Affairs as the Assistant Bureau Chief of Professional Standards, Zone Commander of Area E, and the Commander of the Forensic Division and Assistant Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Investigative Services.

Before his Command Staff assignments at the Boston Police Department, Cox worked as a Sergeant Detective in the Intelligence Unit where he performed Dignitary Protection duties, served as the liaison to the U.S. Secret Service, and as a supervisor assigned to the Joint Terrorist Task Force. At this rank, he also served assignments in the Internal Affairs, Recruit Investigations, and Audit & Review Units. As a Police Officer, Cox worked in Area B-3 until joining the City-wide Anti-Gang Violence Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1995. Cox is a two-time Medal of Honor recipient and received numerous other Commendations and awards while serving in the Boston Police Department.

Cox is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Police Executive Research Forum and holds degrees from Providence College in Business Management, Curry College where he obtained a Master’s in Criminal Justice, and Boston University’s Questrom School of Business where he obtained an MBA.

Colette Phillips

President & CEO, Colette Phillips Communications, Inc.

Colette Phillips

Thought leader, visionary, and marketing maven, Colette Phillips is the President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications, Inc., and founder of Get Konnected, Boston’s first cross-cultural business networking organization. In the fall of 2020, the City of Boston awarded her agency what was at the time the largest non-construction contract awarded a minority woman-owned business. The company served as the lead agency for the groundbreaking All Inclusive Boston Tourism Campaign to reimagine and re-energize Boston’s tourism and image. She is a values-based leader and trusted advisor who uses her influence and communications expertise to engage, empower, and educate multiple stakeholders. She has extensive experience advising C-level executives, public figures, world leaders, entrepreneurs, and leadership teams across multiple industries and sectors. She is a widely recognized expert in strategy and transformation who is frequently consulted by corporations and nonprofit institutions on how to establish healthy, inclusive working environments for their employees and how to engage and serve culturally diverse consumers and other stakeholders.

A savvy enterprising risk taker, she pioneered inclusion and multicultural marketing in New England. She is highly respected for her expertise and ability to create cross-cultural business and social relationships and networks. Boston’s Mayor Michelle Wu, former Mayors Kim Janey and Marty Walsh cite her as one of their invaluable trusted advisors and mentors. Phillips has played a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of Boston's business and social scenes. With her dynamic leadership at the helm of her communications firm, she has spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives that have elevated the voices of underrepresented communities. She and her communications firm provide strategic public relations and tactical support for stakeholder engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion consulting, brand activation, reputation and crisis management, multicultural marketing, and executive coaching. Her game- changing insights, and ability to help people bridge differences and connect more meaningfully often result in solving challenging problems with positive social impact outcomes.   

Prior to returning to Boston to pursue her master’s degree, Phillips worked in public service in her native Antigua, where she served as the Press Secretary of the Prime Minister, the Honorable V.C. Bird. She also produced and hosted a weekly television talk show on Antigua Broadcasting Service television.

Phillips has been recognized with numerous accolades and awards for her personal, philanthropic, and professional accomplishments. She currently serves on the advisory board of Eastern Bank; is an honorary trustee for Mass General; on the board of directors for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; the American Jewish Committee; The Women’s Edge; and the advisory board of the Madison Park Technical School.

Dr. Sally Snowman, M.Ed. '89

Retired Civilian Coast Guard Keeper, Boston Light and Former Curry Education Professor

Dr. Sally Snowman

For 20 years, Dr. Sally Snowman served as the civilian U.S. Coast Guard Keeper and Site Supervisor at Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor. She was the first female Keeper at Boston Light in its 307 years and the last remaining Lighthouse Keeper in the United States until she retired in 2023. She has authored and co-authored numerous books on Boston Light, including Boston Light: A Historical Perspective.

A life-long educator, Sally was a faculty member of Curry’s Master of Education program for 16 years. She also worked closely with students in Curry’s Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL). As someone who struggled with learning differences throughout her childhood, Sally’s goal as an educator was to help others with similar differences thrive in their learning. While at Curry, she also maintained a private practice, the Snowman Learning Center, to provide psycho-educational assessments, identify learning styles, accompany parents working with school systems in developing effective IEPs for their children, and provide study skills for ages 6 through adulthood.

Earlier in her career, she also volunteered at the Greater Plymouth Literacy Program as an educational specialist working with students that had dropped out of high school and adults seeking to understanding their learning styles to assist with developing effective study skills and career exploration. 

Today, Sally, a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and sound healer, runs The Harmonic Sanctuary of Enlightenment, a private practice that provides drumming and sound circles with array of percussion instruments, earth energies programs communing with nature, Native American ceremonies, Ancient Egyptian alchemy programs, and labyrinths for meditation walking. 

Sally earned her bachelor’s of elementary education at Bridgewater University, her master’s in education at Curry College, a Ph.D. in Education at Walden University, and a Ph.D. in Sound Healing and Egyptian Spiritual Alchemy at the University of Metaphysical Sciences.