Augustinians of the Assumption

:: Quote of the Day ::

The Church needs prayer as much as apostolic zeal.
- Emmanuel d'Alzon

:: Prayer Request ::

You are invited to
Submit a Prayer Request

:: Photo Gallery ::


:: Follow us on... ::




Assumption College

Dr. Carolyn Woo, CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS)College to Bestow Honorary Doctorates Upon Drs. Carolyn Woo, James O’Connell,
Fred Bayon ’65 and Michael Tsotsis ’71 During May 7 Ceremony

WORCESTER, MA (March 3, 2016)— When Assumption College’s class of 2016 gathers for Commencement in May, they will hear from an individual who is a true example of living one’s faith through service to others. Dr. Carolyn Woo, CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), one of the world’s largest providers of humanitarian assistance, will deliver the address at the College’s 99th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 7 at the DCU Center. Dr. Woo, Dr. James O’Connell, president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and Assumption alumni, Dr. Fred Bayon ’65, Board Chair Emeritus, and Michael Tsotsis ’71, Trustee Emeritus, will receive honorary degrees during the ceremony recognizing their dedicated work to community service and living the Assumption College mission.

“Through her impassioned work as the leader of a Catholic global relief agency, Dr. Woo is a true example of how to live out the Gospel and the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching by caring for the less fortunate or those affected by natural disaster,” said Assumption College President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. “Dr. Woo’s leadership parallels the mission and message of the College and reflects what we instill in our students during their four years at Assumption regarding service grounded in our Catholic identity. Reminding students of their responsibility to contribute toward the common good is indeed an effective and fitting message to impart upon our graduates as they prepare to use their gifts and knowledge in service to others.”

Dr. Woo was named president and CEO of CRS in January 2012 following a distinguished career in higher education. CRS advances Catholic social teaching by carrying out the human development mission of the United States Catholic Church under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with a presence in more than 90 countries and committed to helping 100 million people in need. Prior to joining CRS, Dr. Woo served as dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, which has been ranked as the number one business school in the nation, and as associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University.

According to CRS, Dr. Woo was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue,  where she earned a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. She has been recognized by the Academy of Management with a Best Paper Award; selected as a 40 Young Leaders of American Academe by Change Magazine; and featured in Foreign Policy as one of the “500 Most Powerful People on the Planet”—one of only 33 in the category of “A Force for Good.” CRS also shares that Dr. Woo was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools—Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business —and directed its Peace Through Commerce initiative. Dr. Woo helped launch the Principles for Responsible Management Education for the United Nations Global Compact.

Dr. Woo participated in the 2014-15 President’s Lecture Series at Assumption during which she addressed the campus community on the intersection of God, neighbor and self in Matthew 25, and how love for God cannot be separately expressed from love for those He places in our care. Dr. Woo was also instrumental in the College’s recent academic partnership with CRS.

In addition to delivering the Commencement address, Dr. Woo will receive an honorary degree. Honorary degrees will also be conferred upon Dr. O’Connell and Assumption alumni  Dr. Bayon ’65, Board Chair Emeritus, and Mr. Tsotsis ’71, Trustee Emeritus.

Dr. James O’Connell

As the founding physician, and now president, of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Dr. James O’Connell oversees an organization that serves more than 12,000 homeless individuals each year in two hospital-based clinics and in more than 70 shelters and outreach sites throughout Boston. Dr. O’Connell began this endeavor in September 1985 when he established the nation’s first medical respite program for the homeless.  The organization began with a staff of eight and now includes more than 400 individuals who provide an array of medical services to the homeless. Last year, Dr. O’Connell published a book, Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor that chronicles his 30 years of service in caring for the homeless.

Dr. O’Connell graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1970, and subsequently received a master’s degree in theology from Cambridge University. He graduated from Harvard Medical School then completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Fred Bayon ‘65

Dr. Fred Bayon, a member of the Assumption College class of 1965, served dutifully on the College’s Board of Trustees for 31 years, 10 of those as chair. In 1990, Dr. Bayon was awarded the Assumption Outstanding Alumnus Award in recognition for his service and support to the College.

Since his graduation from Assumption, Dr. Bayon, the owner of a private dental practice in Worcester, has committed himself to community service. Dr. Bayon, who is a member of a number of professional and non-profit organizations, has provided free dental services for Memorial Hospital’s Dental Clinic and at other Worcester clinics serving those in need. He has served the community in a number of key leadership roles with organizations that include: Council on Dental Education; Dental Health Week at Worcester Science Center, chairman; The Dental Staff, treasurer; Oral Cancer Screening Clinic, chairman; Worcester District Dental Society, member; The Worcester Memorial Hospital; and the Assumption College Alumni Association, president.

Dr. Bayon earned a bachelor of arts degree in natural science from Assumption. He earned a doctor of medicine in dentistry from Tufts University.

Michael Tsotsis ‘71

Michael Tsotsis, a member of the class of 1971, served on the College’s Board of Trustees for 21 years. Tsotsis is the president and founder of Benefit Development Group, Inc. (formerly Fidelity Financial Planning), a Worcester-based business he founded in 1976 that provides employee benefit services to clients throughout the country.

As an alumnus, Mr. Tsotsis has generously supported the College and its students, including a scholarship in the name of his family that provides financial assistance to students with a demonstrated need. Mr. Tsotsis was the vice-chair of the College’s Centennial Campaign, which raised more than $33 million, and a benefactor of the College’s Multi-Sport Stadium, the Brother Robert Scholarship and the Testa Science Center.

Mr. Tsotsis has established himself as a generous friend to the Worcester community. He has, and continues to serve, in leadership capacities with not-for-profit organizations and businesses such as American Red Cross of Central Mass; Children’s Friend; Commerce Bank; EcoTarium; Greater Worcester Community Foundation; The Nativity School of Worcester; St. Patrick’s Church; United Way of Central Mass.; and the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

Mr. Tsotsis’s recognitions from community organizations include the Kennedy Ambassador Award from Children’s Friends Inc.; Outstanding Young Leaders of America; and numerous awards from the Insurance industry. Mr. Tsotsis earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science from Assumption.


Founded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption in Worcester, Mass., Assumption College is a Catholic liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate students 42 majors and 48 minors in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and professional studies; as well as master’s and continuing education degrees and professional certificate programs—each through an educational experience that grounded in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition. The curriculum enables students to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge that leads to professional success and personal fulfillment. Students—whether on the Worcester campus or at the College’s Rome, Italy, campus—become engaged participants in Assumption’s classic liberal arts education, exploring new ideas and making connections across disciplines. To prepare for the workforce, students learn cutting-edge theory and best practices, conduct innovative research, and develop excellent communication and critical-analysis skills. Assumption graduates are also known for their thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service to their community. For more information about Assumption College, please visit

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 15:16
© 2005-2020 Augustinians of the Assumption | 330 Market Street, Brighton, MA 02135 | Tel. 617-783-0400 | Fax 617-783-8030 | E-mail: