MCAD Commissioner George Delivers Wheaton College Commencement Address
Receives Honorary Degree
Sunila Thomas George, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, just added another title to her name – Doctor of Laws – when she received the prestigious honorary degree at the graduation of her alma mater, Wheaton College (Class of 1991), in Norton MA – where she also delivered the keynote address at the college’s 181st Commencement.
Wheaton President Dennis Hanno praised Commissioner George’s strong commitment to civil rights, describing her as a graduate who has represented the college with distinction, and said that she has “worked tirelessly for the citizens of Massachusetts to eliminate discrimination in a variety of areas.” He also noted that she was a four-time appointee by two political divergent governors: Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, and Governor Charles Baker, a Republican.
In her commencement address, Commissioner George, an attorney and first person of Asian descent (Indian-American) to lead the MCAD in 70 years, charged Wheaton’s 399 graduates of the Class of 2016 to “never stop questioning conventional wisdom.”
“Questioning conventional wisdom means challenging yourself, asking if your own opinions stand up over time, and deciding if they make sense in the context of an ever-changing world,” she said.
“No matter where you go from here, you will be faced with differing viewpoints; and Wheaton College has prepared you for the world out there, where you will live alongside people who have backgrounds and beliefs different from your own, and where you will be confronted with opinions with which you disagree.”
About the MCAD: The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) was established in 1946 as the state’s chief civil rights agency charged with the authority to investigate, prosecute, adjudicate and resolve cases of discrimination. Led by three Commissioners, one who serves as Chair, the MCAD enforces the state’s anti-discrimination laws in these areas Employment, Housing, Credit, Public Accommodation, and Access to Education. The MCAD protects individuals in numerous protected categories including race, color, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The MCAD is an independent agency of the Commonwealth, which receives funding from the Massachusetts Legislature and through contracts with its federal partners, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Commission also is a training center for employers, housing professionals, and the general public. As a Commissioner, George is involved with the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases that come before her.