April 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Trudy Rubin, Dr. Elaine Thompson to Address Candidates at Commencements

A view of 2012 Commencement

Trudy Rubin, foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Elaine Thompson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health Systems in Lakeland, Fla., will address degree candidates at Arcadia University’s undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies, respectively.

Rubin will address bachelor’s degree candidates and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree at the University’s undergraduate ceremony on Friday, May 17. Thompson will address post-baccalaureate candidates and receive an honorary Doctor of Medical Science Degree at Arcadia’s graduate Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16.

“The University is privileged to honor these accomplished individuals who are exemplary role models for Arcadia students,” says Nicolette DeVille Christensen, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer for Arcadia University. “To have our graduating students hear from such distinguished professionals is a fitting way to culminate their educational experiences at Arcadia.”

Also receiving honorary degrees during Arcadia’s Commencement are Teng Huang, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Xi’an International University, Shaanxi, China (Doctor of Humane Letters Degree); and Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College) alumna Marcelline Krafchick, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of English at California State University (Doctor of Literature Degree).

“This year’s honorary degree recipients are leaders in their respective fields of education, communications and healthcare,” says Steve O. Michael, Ph.D., Provost of Arcadia University. “They represent Arcadia’s commitment to providing a rich educational experience with a cultural and global perspective.”

Visit for more information about Commencement. 


The region’s most visible global reporter, Rubin is widely noted for her expertise on the Middle East, Russia and South Asia. Her column runs twice weekly in the Inquirer, and regularly in many newspapers throughout the United States. In recent years, Rubin covered the Arab Spring from Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Lebanon, and made several trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, the West Bank, Israel, Jordan, China, South Korea and the Philippines.

Rubin was a finalist in 2001 for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary. She received the 2008 Edward Weintal prize for diplomatic reporting, and in 2010 the American Academy of Diplomacy presented her with the Arthur Ross for distinguished analysis of foreign affairs. Rubin is the author of “Willful Blindness: The Bush Administration and Iraq” (The Philadelphia Inquirer Press, 2004). Rubin is a frequent guest on National Public Radio, the PBS News Hours and other news shows.

Before joining the Inquirer in 1983, Rubin served as Middle East correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, covering Israel and the Arab world while living in Jerusalem and Beirut. She spent 1975-76 as a fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University as a participant in a program for senior diplomats started by Henry Kissinger. Rubin earned a bachelor of arts degree from Smith College, and a master’s degree in sociology from the London School of Economics.


During her tenure as President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Lakeland Regional Medical Center has become the fifth largest hospital in Florida, and is positioned to become a teaching hospital in partnership with University of South Florida Health. Thompson recently was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Non-Profit Health System CEOs to Know,” based on health care experience, accolades and community involvement.

Prior to her executive positions in Florida, Thompson served as President of Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pa., and as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network in Bethlehem, Pa. She has held faculty positions at the University of South Florida, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Arcadia University (then Beaver College). Thompson currently chairs the Development Committee of Arcadia’s Department of Physical Therapy.

Thompson earned a doctorate of philosophy in biomedical science at Drexel University, a master’s degree in physical therapy at Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, served as a Senior Fellow from 2009-10 with the Jefferson School of Population Health and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.


Huang is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Xi’an International University (XAIU), which has a faculty of more than 2,200 professors and an enrollment of more than 36,000 degree candidates. Huang founded the private institute of higher education in 1992, and is recognized as one of the forces transforming private education in China through a decentralized and democratic educational system.

In addition to leading XAIU, Huang is a member of the Central Committee of China Association for Promoting Democracy, the Vice Chairman of Chinese Private Education Association, and the Chairman of Shaanxi Chinese Vocational Education Society. From 2002 to 2012, he served as deputy to the National People’s Congress, China’s highest organ of power.

Huang has published extensively in the area of higher education, and has won several professional awards, including the Distinguished University President of China (2012), the Man of the Year in Education (2008, 2005) and the Golden Key Award for Private Education in China (2006). He earned a doctoral degree in educational administration from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology in the Philippines, a doctoral degree in industry and business management from Beijing Normal University, master’s degrees in both educational economy and management, and ideological and political education, from East China Normal University and Xi’an Metallurgy Architecture Institute, respectively, and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese from Xi’an University.


Beaver College’s first recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, Krafchick is an accomplished writer and educator whose teaching career spans more than four decades. Dr. Krafchick was the first woman instructor at Santa Clara University, and taught at California State University, Hayward for 35 years.

When serving as a Fulbright Scholar in 1954-55 at Bristol University in England, Krafchick met with dignitaries such as Sir Winston Churchill, Italian philosopher Leone Vivante and Giorgio Strehler, one of Europe’s leading theater directors. Her year abroad inspired a lifelong passion for travel, leading her to visit 67 countries so far. Some of her adventures abroad constitute her book, “The Romance of Elsewhere: A Half-Century of Connecting By Sea, By Air, By Rail” (Regent Press, 2007).

Krafchick has published dozens of journal articles and four books, including How Belief-Stories Matter: An Approach to Myth (Regent Press, 2010) and World Without Heroes: The Brooklyn Novels of Daniel Fuchs (Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 1988). She was a board member of the Seventh Step Foundation, a re-socializing program for ex-felons, was employed by exchange programs with the U.S.S.R. and Afghanistan, taught modeling in New York, and was the first woman member and chair of the Hayward (Calif.) Zoning Board and Planning Commission.

Krafchick earned doctoral and master’s degrees in English from the University of California at Davis, and a master’s degree in comparative literature and drama from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, after working her way by means of seven jobs to a bachelor’s degree in English from Beaver College in 1954.

Photo by Josh Blustein


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>