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SVC to Honor IBM Fellow Emeritus Nicholas Donofrio at Commencement

Southern Vermont College (SVC) will honor award-winning, former IBM executive Nicholas M. Donofrio at the College’s 90th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 13. Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran who, as Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology, helped steward the company through tremendous periods of change and growth; in 2008, he was selected by the chairman to become an IBM fellow, the company’s highest technical honor.

Throughout his career, Donofrio worked to advance education, employment, and career opportunities for under represented minorities and women; since his retirement, this is a cause that continues to occupy a great deal of his focus and attention. The College will award Donofrio the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his service to higher education; he will then deliver the Commencement address to the SVC graduates.

At IBM, Donofrio led many of the company’s major development and manufacturing teams—from semiconductor and storage technologies, to microprocessors and personal computers, to IBM’s entire family of servers. He is the holder of seven technology patents, is a member of numerous technical and science honor societies, and holds several board positions.

“Nick Donofrio has been a leader in the innovations that underpin many aspects of modern information technology,” said SVC President David Rees Evans. “Beyond that, he has been a tremendous supporter of higher education, bringing his business expertise and sharp critical eye to several boards and commissions, and helping to ensure that all students have access to college and to the STEM fields in particular. He has made outstanding contributions in both technology and education, and we are extremely pleased to honor his many achievements.”

In addition to his many professional board affiliations, Donofrio has served for many years on the Boards of organizations such as the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and INROADS, a non-profit organization focused on the training and development of talented minority youth for professional careers in business and industry. He was awarded the Rodney D. Chipps Memorial Award by the Society of Women Engineers and remains an active member.

“It is quite an honor to be recognized by SVC,” said Donofrio. “My mission in work and life very much aligns with the school’s mission: to affirm ‘a deep belief in the potential of every individual, embracing diversity in all its forms, fostering excellence and personal responsibility in each member of the community.’ I am very excited to address the graduates of this unique school in May.”

Donofrio holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, respectively. He has received honorary doctorates from Polytechnic University (now NYU-Poly), University of Warwick-UK, Marist College, University of Edinburgh-UK, Pace University, National University of Ireland-Maynooth and Syracuse University, where he is currently on the Board of Trustees.

He is a Fellow at the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Fellow at the U.K.-base Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of the U.S.-based National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bank of New York Mellon, Liberty Mutual, Delphi Automotive, AMD, O’Brien & Gere, Sproxil and MITRE.

Donofrio served for many years on the board of the New York Hall of Science and currently enjoys Chair/Trustee Emeritus status. He currently serves on the board of the New York Genome Center. He was named by the Governor of Connecticut to the Board of Regents for Higher Education in 2012 and then appointed by the Governor as its Chairman in 2014. He completed his four-year term in June 2016. In 2014, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the United States Institute of Peace’s Peace Tech Lab and in 2015, became its Chairman. Also in 2015, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

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