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Grable Foundation Executive Director to Speak, Be Honored at Commencement Dec. 15

Public Relations
Posted: Wednesday Dec 5, 2012

Dec. 5, 2012

One hundred and fourteen students – 56 undergraduates and 58 graduates –who completed requirements in August or December will receive their degrees at the eighth annual December commencement ceremony of Saint Vincent College at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec.15 in the gymnasium of the Robert S. Carey Student Center. Principal speaker will be Gregg Behr, executive director of The Grable Foundation, who will also be honored with the conferral of an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Behr heads The Grable Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children. Administering a grantmaking portfolio advancing early childhood education, education reform, out-of-school time support and informal learning, he endeavors to ensure that all kids across the Pittsburgh region have outstanding opportunities to learn, play and grow.

He previously served as president of The Forbes Funds from 2002 to 2006, another Pittsburgh-based foundation that supports nonprofit capability-building, research and leadership development. Behr twice chaired the Pittsburgh Nonprofit Summit, launched the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership and coordinated an EMMY-award winning public television series.

He is a former litigator with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, a national law firm based in Pittsburgh. While there he received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award presented by the Allegheny County Bar Association.

A 1995 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree Phi Beta Kappa, he also earned a law degree and a master of public policy degree from Duke University. He completed a Jane Addams Graduate Fellowship at Indiana University.

He has been honored with the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship by The German Marshall Fund of the United States and was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine.

Behr currently serves as a trustee for the Women & Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania. Additionally, he sits on advisory councils for the United Way of Allegheny County, Center for Creativity at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership as well as the Institute for Politics and the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh. Past leadership roles include chairmanship of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh’s Clean Campaign Committee and WQED’s Community Advisory Board.

In 2003 Behr was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40. In 2008, he was selected as Pittsburgh’s representative to the TransAtlantic Cities Network. In 2010, Phi Delta Kappa honored him with the Lay Leader Award in Education.

Active in government and community service, he has been a research assistant to the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, program consultant to the Indiana Commission on Community Service, program analyst for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education, founding director of The Content of Our Character Project, a nationally-acclaimed ethics initiative featured in The New York Times and the PBS documentary, The Power of Integrity. He has also served as a member of the advisory council for the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.

Kidsburgh is an all-out effort by a large and collaborative group in Pittsburgh to make Pittsburgh the best place for kids on the planet. Kids+Creativity, started by Behr, has long been a resource for Pittsburghers whose work is at the intersection of technology, learning and play. He has served as an informal but constant intermediary among its members.

The commencement ceremony will be preceded by a Baccalaureate Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the Mary, Mother of Wisdom Chapel and followed by a reception in the Robert S. Carey Student Center lounge. The Rt. Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., archabbot and chancellor, will preside. He and Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president, will award the honorary degree and the student degrees. Graduates will be presented by Dr. John J. Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean.

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Photo: Gregg Behr 

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PR2012-546