May 17, 2017
LIVONIA, Mich. – Livonia husband and wife physicians were the keynote speakers at Madonna University’s 70th Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 13, 2017, at Suburban Collection Showplace, in Novi, Mich.
There were eight of 15 graduates from the Haiti Educational Leadership Program who came to commencement to receive their bachelor’s degrees in business administration. Every graduate has his or her own unique story about their journey to earn a degree. Many graduates are the first in their family to earn a college degree, some are non-traditional students earning a degree to change careers, and others have overcome incredible odds. Madonna students have indicated that it’s family, friends, and Madonna faculty members who help them persevere to graduation; for example, husband and wife nursing students achieved their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees together, and a mother and her daughter earned master’s degrees in pastoral ministry and nursing, respectively.
Stella Salgado Evangelista, M.D., spoke at the 10:30 a.m. graduation exercise for some 400 doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate nursing and health graduates. Jose Limjoco Evangelista, M.D., gave the address at the 2:00 p.m. ceremony, to approximately 700 undergraduate students in the school of business, and colleges of arts and humanities, education and natural and social sciences.
“We are honored the Evangelistas could share their secrets for success with our graduates this year, and we are pleased to bestow on them honorary doctorates,” said Madonna President Michael A. Grandillo, Ph.D. “Medical trailblazers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, these accomplished doctors have achieved and led in a variety of endeavors, and they are staunch supporters of Catholic higher education,” he continued. “The Madonna community is blessed to have them take part in this exciting day for our students.”
The Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Timothy W. Turner, who graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. He went on to graduate from the Detroit Police Academy and to serve on the Wayne County S.W.A.T. Team. He also worked as an undercover narcotics officer with the Michigan State Police Narcotics Cocaine Task Force.
Following his law enforcement service, Turner achieved an extraordinary 30-year career providing leadership, expertise and service in the insurance industry. Currently, he is Chairman and CEO of RT Specialty, the wholesale brokerage operation of Ryan Specialty Group (RSG), a global specialty insurance organization.
About the Evangelistas:
The Evangelistas have worked to improve Filipino-American relations and to create jobs here in Livonia and southeast Michigan. In recognition of their exemplary contributions to ethnic diversity, they were inducted into the International Institute Hall of Fame in 1990, the first Filipinos and the first couple ever to be inducted. Both received the Asian American Hall of Fame Award in Medicine and Government Service, and were named one of twenty outstanding Filipino-Americans in the United States by the Fil-Am Image magazine of Washington D.C. They are the proud parents of six successful children, who have blessed them with four grandchildren. Their unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence across many aspects of life is held together by their faith and love of God.
An honorary doctor of humane letters degree was conferred upon servant of humanity, Stella Salgado Evangelista, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1963 from the Cebu Institute of Technology, and received a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Santo Tomas in 1968. From 1983 to 1993, she was Chief of Pediatrics at St. Mary Hospital in Livonia. She also served as president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in America from 1993 to 1994. She was the first woman elected to the presidency, and the first Filipino and first Asian to be appointed to the Michigan State Board of Medicine, serving two terms from 1986 to 1993. Dr. Stella Evangelista served as executive director and later president of the University of Santo Tomas Medical Association Alumni Foundation. A former member of the Michigan State Board of Pharmacy, she became a member of the Congressional Asian American Pacific Caucus.
An honorary doctor of international relations degree was bestowed upon Jose Evangelista, who has spent the last 13 years serving as Honorary Consul General of the Philippines, our highest ranking Philippine official in the State of Michigan. He also is a former Chief of Staff at St. Mary Hospital in Livonia and a past president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in America. Since 1986 he has been the CEO of the J.S. Evangelista Development LLC, a construction and development company based in West Bloomfield, Mich. He also is president and CEO of the Royal Management Company. From 1994 to 2000 he served on the Board of the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation, of the United States Department of Education.