Notre Dame College to Award Honorary Degree to Michael Shaughnessy at 95th Commencement

Notre Dame Notre Dame College will award an honorary degree during its 95th Commencement ceremonies to a business, education and community leader who applies Catholic social doctrine to his personal and professional life.

Michael “Mike” Shaughnessy, a trustee of the College from 2001 to 2017, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the College’s Board of Trustees, administration and faculty on Saturday, May 4, as Notre Dame celebrates the graduation of bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates in its Class of 2019.

He is only the 22nd person to be recognized with an honorary degree in the nearly 100-year history of the College.

“Mike embodies the spirit of doing good for all and selflessly giving back to others. He quietly leads by example and is a role model for every Notre Dame student and graduate,” said Notre Dame President Thomas G. Kruczek.

In 2014, Shaughnessy and his wife Marian were presented the College’s Fidelia Award as living examples of the mission of Notre Dame. Together they have spent their lives supporting nonprofit, philanthropic and educational organizations. They share a passion for helping others, notably through better and more accessible medical care and research.

The couple gave a leadership gift toward a state-of-the-art home for the College’s Division of Nursing.

Shaughnessy is the retired co-chair and president of ColorMatrix, a company that began as a small plastics colorant manufacturer in 1978. When he created his company, he chose to do so in the inner city of Cleveland, and he made a commitment to employing qualified people who at one point in their lives received public assistance. He paid competitive wages and benefits, and he showed respect for all.

“That’s just the kind of person Mike is. He is much more than an entrepreneur with keen business sense. He is also a caring heart,” Kruczek said.

Through his volunteer activities at the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, Shaughnessy has stewarded numerous projects and initiatives that have brought relief and comfort to the poor and disenfranchised throughout Northeast Ohio. He played a leadership role for the Catholic Community Foundation campaign which raised more than $170 million. This year, he received the Archbishop Hoban award in recognition of his history of diocesan support in the community.

“Mike has been influential in strengthening communities, businesses and people, always with a vision of creating hope and opportunities. He has a special interest in helping those who need and deserve help the most. He has often voiced his appreciation for the College’s commitment to providing opportunities for minority and first-generation college-bound students,” Kruczek said.

April 2019


About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


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