April 03. 2013 8:02PM

Rivier University to present Nashua mayor with honorary degree

Union Leader Correspondent

NASHUA - To celebrate Rivier University's first commencement as a university in May, school officials will bestow on Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau an honorary degree.

International scholar Dr. Philip Altbach and Dr. Jamison Hoff, chair of the Rivier University Board of Trustees, will also receive honorary degrees along with Lozeau.

"Honoring these three individuals represents our commitment to global engagement, the city of Nashua, and the leadership of our University. The power of their collective leadership stands as an inspiration to our faculty and students," said Sister Paula Marie Buley, president of Rivier.

Established as a private Catholic liberal arts college in 1933, Rivier became a university in the summer of 2012. The generally accepted difference between colleges and universities is that colleges tend to focus on offering only undergraduate degrees while universities offer graduate level programs along with undergraduate programs so students can also earn master's degrees and doctrates.

"Our transition to Rivier University provides the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the world with a renewed focus on academic distinction, global engagement, and student leadership," said Sister Paula.

Lozeau is being recognized for her leadership of Nashua and to highlight the relationship between the city and Rivier.

"Nashua is our home, and the world is our classroom," Sister Paula said.

Altbach is being honored for his work in international higher education, while Hoff is being honored for her leadership of the board of trustees.