NEWPORT, R.I. – Howard G. Sutton II, publisher, president and chief executive officer of The Providence Journal Company, will give the commencement address and be awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters when Salve Regina University celebrates its 62nd commencement, on Sunday, May 20.
The commencement will begin at 10 a.m. on the oceanside lawn of McAuley Hall on Ochre Point Avenue.
Mr. Sutton, of Portsmouth, R.I., began his career at The Journal as a circulation statistician 39 years ago, rising through the ranks before being named publisher, president and CEO in 1999.
Mr. Sutton is a past president of the New England Newspaper Association and a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s Board and the Classified Ventures Board.
A Rhode Islander since the age of 8, Sutton’s record of public service in the state has been exemplary and diverse.
Last year he was honored by Crossroads Rhode Island for his longtime commitment to serving the state’s homeless. The Howard G. Sutton Endowment Fund for Crossroads Rhode Island was created to honor Sutton for his 10 years of service on the Crossroads board, including seven years as chairman. Before that, he served as chair of the “Right Moves” capital- fund drive, and with his wife, Kimberly G.P. Sutton, was for eight years co-chairperson of Crossroads’s annual September event, raising millions of dollars over the years for those in need.
Mr. Sutton currently chairs The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation and is a former chairman of the Summertime Fund and Santa Fund. He has served on the board of Marathon, Inc., and has been a board member of the Rhode Island Service Alliance, WaterFire Providence, St. Andrew’s School, Providence Country Day School, Justice Assistance and the Academic Decathlon. He chaired the NCAA Frozen Four in 2000 and the 2001 National Governors Conference.
He is past president of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, past chairman of the United Way of Rhode Island, and was on the executive board of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Providence College’s President’s Council and the Regional Advisory Board of the American Cancer Society.
Mr. Sutton has been on the boards of Women and Infants Hospital, the National Conference for Community and Justice, Rebuilding Together, First Night Providence, Downcity Partnership, Rhode Island Commodores, the Providence Preservation Society, Mt. Hope Farm, the Greater Providence YMCA, the Providence Foundation and the Business Education Rountable.
He was elected to Salve Regina’s board of trustees in 2004. He served as chairperson, along with his wife, of the university’s Governor’s Ball in 2003.
Mr. Sutton has chaired or co-chaired such fundraisers such as the American Heart Association (AHA) Hearts in Bloom, the Philharmonic Ball, the Black and White Ball, AHA Golden Heart Award, the Save the Bay Corporate Campaign, the Salvation Army Capital Campaign, the National Conference of Christians and Jews 50th Anniversary Year, City Year’s “Starry, Starry Night”, and the National Jewish Award 2002.
He has also been honored by the AHA Golden Heart Award, the Volunteer Center (Volunteer of the Year), Leadership Rhode Island’s (David A. Sweet Award), National Jewish Hospital (Humanitarian Award), Phoenix House (Humanitarian of the Year), March of Dimes (Citizen of the Year), the United Way of Rhode Island (Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award), City Year Rhode Island (Starfish Award), Rhode Island for Community & Justice Humanitarian Award, Boys Town (Spirit Award) and the 2006 Coldwell Banker Community Service Award.
Mr. Sutton has an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University, where he was a history major, and an MBA from Providence College. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. In 2003 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of business administration from Johnson & Wales University and in 2008 an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Roger Williams University. He is a past president of the Notre Dame Club of Rhode Island and was honored as its Notre Dame Man of the Year in 1993.