Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Publishing executive to speak at Commencement

Janet L. Robinson, former president and chief executive officer of the New York Times Company and now consultantJanet L. Robinson, former president and chief executive officer of the New York Times Company and now consultant, will address the Class of 2012 at Wheaton’s 177th Commencement, to be held on Saturday, May 19.

Robinson will receive an honorary degree at Commencement, as will two of the college’s distinguished graduates, Deborah Haigh Dluhy ’62 and Barbara Jensky Kovensky ’67.

Robinson joined the Times company in 1983 and was named CEO in 2004. In this role she oversaw and coordinated the company’s operations and business units and worked closely with Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to chart the company’s direction. (In December 2011 she announced her retirement from the company.)

Her tenure as CEO coincided with a seismic shift in the news industry, as print newspapers have declined and digital media have proliferated. In March 2011 Robinson oversaw the rollout of a digital subscription plan for the company’s web operation, nytimes.com, termed by New York Magazine as “one of the most impressive news sites on the planet.” This “paywall” subscription plan attracted nearly a quarter of a million subscribers in its first months.

A native of Fall River, Mass., Robinson graduated from Salve Regina College, and in 1998 received an honorary doctor of business administration from her alma mater (now Salve Regina University).

She serves on the Presidential Board of Trustees of Salve Regina University and on the boards of the Newspaper Association of America and New England Sports Ventures. She is a member of the advisory board for New York Women in Communications, a member of the Leadership Committee for the Lincoln Center Consolidated Corporate Fund, and a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Deborah Haigh Dluhy ’62Dluhy, who will also be honored at Commencement, majored in art history at Wheaton and earned her doctorate in that field from Harvard University. She later became the first woman to serve as dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and also served as deputy director of the museum during her 32-year career at the MFA.

She has been a trustee of Wheaton since 2000, serving as chair from 2005 to 2010. Previously, Dluhy filled a number of key volunteer roles for the college, including being a member of the President’s Commission and president of the Alumnae/i Association.

Barbara Jensky Kovensky ’67Kovensky, also receiving an honorary degree, is president of Experchem Laboratories, a food science and technology company in Toronto. She majored in chemistry at Wheaton and received her master of science degree from the University of Toronto. Kovensky is now recognized as a leading expert in food science and technology. Her many professional affiliations include the Order of Professional Chemists of Quebec, and the Association of Chemical Professionals of Ontario.