Mandy Krauthamer Cohen

As director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Mandy Krauthhamer Cohen is transforming the operational approach of the nation’s top public health organization through transparent communication, data-driven initiatives and a focus on “whole person health.” Prior to her CDC appointment, she was lauded for her outstanding leadership as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2023, amid a challenging climate of waning public confidence in government agencies, Dr. Cohen was selected by President Joe Biden to lead the CDC because of her record for building trust at the state level. Previously, when she served as North Carolina’s health services director during a politically divided state government, she successfully expanded Medicaid, enacted a policy to manage the opioid epidemic and found innovative ways to fill the insurance gap. Prior to coming to North Carolina, she helped implement the Affordable Care Act as chief operating officer and chief of staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She is also a founding member of Doctors for America, a group that champions health care reform. From early in her career, Dr. Cohen has been widely recognized for her hands-on, in-person approach to leadership.

As an internal medicine physician with degrees in public health and policy, Dr. Cohen is uniquely qualified to lead complex health organizations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in policy analysis from Cornell University, a medical degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. In 2020, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health presented her with the Leadership in Public Health Practice Award, its highest honor, and the American Medical Association recognized her with the AMA Award for Outstanding Government Service. In 2019, she was named one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare.

For spearheading transformational change in the nation’s healthcare system to improve care models and eliminate gaps in access and coverage, for honoring Pro Humanitate ideals in her “whole person” approach to healthcare delivery and health equity, and for her wisdom in recognizing that data-based health policy can also be human-centered, Dr. Mandy Krauthamer Cohen is recommended for the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Gary Dorrien

Gary Dorrien is a preeminent social ethicist and theologian whose Pro Humanitate vision for an inclusive, humane and just society is inspired by the highest ideals of religious life. He is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, a professor of religion at Columbia University, an Episcopal priest and an award-winning scholar. An extraordinarily prolific intellectual, Dr. Dorrien has written 21 authoritative books and 300 articles that explore the intersections of social ethics, philosophy, theology, politics, economics, religious history and intellectual history.

Prior to joining the faculty at Union and Columbia in 2005, Dr. Dorrien was the Parfet Distinguished Professor at Kalamazoo College in Michigan for 18 years and also served as dean of Stetson Chapel and chair of humanities. He previously taught at Trinity College and Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Dorrien says he chose to work as a college professor because he was struck by the opportunity the undergraduate years represent as a formative time in direction and identity.

Dr. Dorrien won the American Library Association’s Choice Award three times, including in 2023 for his most recent book, “American Democratic Socialism: History, Politics, Religion, and Theory.” In 2017, he received the Grawemeyer Award for “The New Abolition: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel.” He was given the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award in 2012 for his thought-provoking book on modern theology, “Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit.” His definitive work as a social ethicist has shaped the field, and he has been described as the greatest theological ethicist of the 21st century.

Dr. Dorrien is also a dedicated Episcopal priest who cultivates deep faith development in congregations and communities across the nation. He models inclusive leadership, encouraging a thoughtful faith that welcomes the poor and the oppressed as it works to transform a fractured world.

For fostering Pro Humanitate ideals as an advocate for a broad humanistic and ethical education, for applying rigorous scholarship and deep religious faith to bridge intellectual and spiritual divides, and for promoting an inclusive and equitable vision of cultural and civic flourishing worldwide, Gary Dorrien is recommended for the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

Jean Rawlings Sumner

Dr. Jean Rawlings Sumner, dean of Mercer University School of Medicine, has been instrumental in expanding healthcare access for rural communities in Georgia. Dr. Sumner practiced internal medicine in rural Georgia for 25 years, and since 2016, she has led Mercer Medical School in its primary mission to serve the state’s rural communities. For more than three decades, Dr. Sumner’s passion for eliminating health disparities across Georgia has led to new medical facilities, the widespread use of telehealth networks and the promise of continued care as each class of Mercer Medical School students is prepared for the unique challenges of rural medicine.

Dr. Sumner chose to pursue a medical degree when she, as a registered nurse, recognized that her rural community was extremely compromised without a physician. At age 31, she graduated with the first class of physicians from Mercer University School of Medicine. Her advocacy of rural health issues began when she assumed the role of sole doctor in her county.

Realizing the need for more providers in her community, she secured a federally funded grant for the creation of a primary care center staffed by Medical College of Georgia students and faculty. For the next three decades, Dr. Sumner continued to harness federal and state resources to help build a healthcare infrastructure in Georgia’s rural counties. She also increased underserved patients’ access to care by fortifying in-person health care with telehealth networks and partnering with medical specialists to fill provider gaps.

Dr. Sumner has held key leadership positions at the local, state and regional levels. She has served as hospital chief of staQ and nursing home medical director as well as the governor-appointed member, then president and medical director of the Georgia Composite Medical Board. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 2020, Dr. Sumner became the first Georgian to receive the prestigious Ralph O. Claypoole Sr. Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians.

For honoring Pro Humanitate ideals in her lifelong commitment to serving Georgia’s most vulnerable communities, for her farsighted vision in helping to build a healthcare infrastructure that will continue to support rural populations and for modeling servant leadership for future physicians who are educated in Mercer’s mission-centered program, Jean Rawlings Sumner is recommended for the degree of Doctor of Science.

Cathy Pace

Cathy Pace, retired CEO and president of Allegacy Federal Credit Union is a financial trailblazer who has been a driving force behind the credit union’s exponential growth and impact on member and community wellbeing. As CEO, Ms. Pace guided Allegacy through successful fiscal initiatives, oversaw a transformative name change and rebranding, expanded into the Charlotte market and launched nationally recognized wellness and education programs. She also spearheaded a 20-year partnership with Wake Forest University that culminated in the naming of the football venue as the Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium.

Ms. Pace’s remarkable 46-year journey at Allegacy began in 1978 when she joined Reynolds Carolina Federal Credit Union as a switchboard operator. She rose through the executive leadership ranks, holding positions in marketing, business development and wealth management before being named CEO and president in 2013. During her tenure, the company grew from 17,000 members and almost $50 million in assets in 1978 to more than 175,000 members and over $2.2 billion in assets today. Allegacy’s dramatic growth is largely attributed to Ms. Pace’s leadership over successful initiatives in commercial lending, business services, and wealth and financial planning.

In addition to engineering corporate growth, Ms. Pace has been instrumental in establishing a culture of well-being for employees, members and the community. She embraced a corporate commitment to “doing right” by addressing needs in the community related to education, food insecurity, health and well-being. She also partnered with the Wake Forest School of Business to promote ethical business practices, which led to Allegacy’s $4 million investment in the school’s Center for Leadership and Character.

For her legacy of business excellence and community enrichment, Ms. Pace received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and was named the Triad’s Most Admired CEO. She serves as chair of Greater Winston-Salem and is a long-time member of the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center Regional Advisory Group. She also serves on the School of Business Board of Visitors.

For modeling servant leadership by fostering a corporate culture of community outreach, for honoring Pro Humanitate ideals in her efforts to promote the ethical practice of business and for serving as a valued mentor to colleagues to ensure that Allegacy remains a purpose-driven enterprise, Cathy Pace is recommended for the degree of Doctor of Business Administration.