MTV creator Tom Freston named Saint Michael’s College 2012 commencement speaker

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MTV creator Tom Freston named Saint Michael’s College 2012 commencement speaker

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 6:36am -- tim

Tom Freston, a 1967 graduate of Saint Michael's College, will be the 2012 commencement speaker at ceremonies to be held Monday, May 14, at the liberal arts Catholic college located in Burlington, Vermon,. Regarded as a ground-breaking pioneer in television, Freston spearheaded the rise of MTV Networks.
Tom Freston is a principal of Firefly3, an investment and consutancy firm, with focus on the media and entertainment industries. He is former CEO of Viacom, and was for 17 years, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. He is now chairman of the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty advocacy group that was started by Bono, leader of U2.  
Honorary degrees
Tom Freston, Sister Lindora Cabral, RSM, president of Sisters of Mercy, and Major General Michael Dubie, Adjutant General of the State of Vermont, will receive honorary degrees at commencement.
Sister Lindora Cabral, RSM, was a leader with Sisters of Mercy in Vermont and at Trinity College, Vermont, for many years, prior to becoming Executive Director of Mercy Connections, 2001 to 2007, and now president of Sisters of Mercy of the Americans, Northeast Community, since July 2010. Earlier in her career, Sister Cabral taught at three Catholic schools in Vermont (1964-72), was campus minister for Champlain College (1966-67), the University of Vermont (1972-74), and Trinity College of Vermont (1974-1978), when she was also Trinity’s director of career planning and placement. Sister Cabral was principal of Mater Christi School in Burlington (1982-85), parish minister/youth minister at St. Joseph Parish, Burlington (1985-88), and she served in various administrative and service roles at Trinity College (1992-98).
Major General Michael Dubie
Major General Michael D. Dubie is Adjutant General of the State of Vermont, serving as the senior uniformed officer in the state, responsible for the 4,000 members of the Vermont Army and Air National Guard. He is also head of the State Military Department, including Veterans Affairs, with a combined state and federal budget of over $210 million. In addition to numerous leadership positions with the Air Guard, General Dubie commanded the 447th Air Expeditionary Group at the Baghdad International Airport and served as Director of Staff for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Base, Iraq. A command pilot, General Dubie has over 2.000 flying hours in trainer and fighter aircraft. General Dubie was credited with extraordinary leadership as the National Guard responded to the devastating impact of Hurricane Irene on the State of Vermont.
Tom Freston
As CEO of MTV, Mr. Freston expanded the company's reach, built an animation studio, produced feature films, and developed large consumer product and digital businesses. He added such shows as  Spongebob Square Pants, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, South Park, The Real World, Behind the Music and Rugrats.
Mr. Freston received a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Michael’s College and an MBA from New York University. He has received many industry awards and recognitions, including being noted by Time in 2006 as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.  He serves on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History, DreamWorks Animation, and Emerson College. He also serves as a trustee of the Asia Society where he funded a new department focusing on issues in Afghanistan.
At his induction to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in May 2011, the speaker said: ‘Tom Freston helped build MTV Networks from the ground upâ ¦spending nearly three decades turning his vision for a TV channel devoted exclusively to music into an empire that literally changed how the world looked at television.’
In recent years, Mr. Freston has returned to Afghanistan, where he has helped set up the first private television network in the country.  He is also working with Farsi 1, a satellite network beaming shows like 24, Oprah and Korean soap operas to the Farsi-speaking world, 80 percent of whom Freston says are in Iran.