Curry College Awards Joan Wallace-Benjamin Honorary Degree

The Home for Little Wanderers' President and CEO to serve as Commencement speaker

MILTON, MA —Curry College President Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr. is pleased to announce that Joan Wallace-Benjamin, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Home for Little Wanderers will receive an Honorary Degree and serve as Commencement speaker at Curry’s Commencement ceremony in Milton, Massachusetts on Sunday, May 17, 2009. Curry College will award Dr. Wallace-Benjamin a Doctor of Humane Letters.

In her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Home for Little Wanderers, Joan Wallace-Benjamin is committed to the non-profit child and family service agency’s mission—to ensure the healthy emotional, mental, and social development of children at risk, their families, and communities.  The Home for Little Wanderers has been part of the Massachusetts landscape for over 200 years, making it the oldest agency of its kind in the nation and one of the largest in New England. Originally founded as a orphanage in 1799, The Home today plays a leadership role in delivering services to thousands of children and families from across Eastern Massachusetts each year through a system of residential, community-based and prevention programs, direct care services, and advocacy.

November 2006 brought an exciting new professional opportunity for Dr. Wallace-Benjamin when Governor-Elect Deval Patrick named her his Chief of Staff. In this role, she helped the Governor to move the Administration’s policy, legislative and political agenda forward. Her previous experience in management and organizational effectiveness in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors prepared her to assume this important responsibility.

In May 2007, Joan Wallace-Benjamin returned to The Home for Little Wanderers as the President and Chief Executive Officer to continue the work she began when she originally assumed leadership of the agency in 2003. Under her guidance, the agency has gained prominence in the field of child and family service providers.

Prior to joining The Home in 2003, Dr. Wallace-Benjamin served as a Consultant with Whitehead Mann, a global executive recruiting firm; President & Chief Executive Officer of The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts for 11 years; Director of Operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston; Deputy Director of ABCD Head Start, and a Research Analyst for ABT Associates. She brought to all of her positions a remarkable array of skills that have empowered the organizations to fulfill their missions of service to children and families, prevention, expert clinical care, outcomes, research, and advocacy.

Dr. Wallace-Benjamin has received awards too numerous to list in full, but a sampling includes the 2005 Pinnacle Award, Achievement in Management Non-Profit from the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the 2004 Exceptional Women Award for Community Service from Magic 106.7, a 2003 Lady Baden-Powel Good Scout Award from Boston Minuteman Council, Boy Scouts of America, a 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from Rosie’s Place, Boston, and named by Boston Magazine, May 2003 edition, as one of Boston’s 100 Women of Power. In 2002, Joan was honored with Academy of Women Achiever’s Award from Boston YWCA, and a Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice. Joan holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Newbury College, Chestnut Hill, MA.

Dr. Wallace-Benjamin is a Trustee of Wellesley College and a member of the Board of Overseers for The Heller School for Social Policy & Management. Additionally she has been a Corporation Member of Northeastern University and a Trustee of Pine Manor College. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Psychology and received her Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Curry College is a 130-year old, private, four-year, liberal arts institution located on 135 acres in Milton, MA.  Curry extends its educational programs to a continuing education branch campus in Plymouth.  Curry offers 20 undergraduate degrees as well as graduate degrees in business, education, criminal justice and nursing, with a combined enrollment of approximately 4,100 students.  The student body consists of approximately 2,000 traditional undergraduate students, 1,650 continuing education and 450 graduate students.  Curry College students come from 40 states and 32 countries.  Over 1,450 of its students reside on the Curry campus.  The largest majors are Business Management, Communication, Nursing, Criminal Justice and Education.  The College offers a wide array of extra-curricular activities ranging from 13 NCAA division III athletic teams to an outstanding theatre program. For more information, visit


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