Speaker & Honorary Degrees


FOX Sports Television and Radio Host Joy Taylor

A Barry University alumna and an accomplished national media personality, Joy Taylor exemplifies the University mission, achieving professionally while putting into practice the values we live and teach at Barry.

Taylor co-hosts Fox Sports’ “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” as well as the popular Joy Taylor Show on Fox Sports Radio Saturdays 2-4PM ET. Before catapulting to the national stage, she spent several years in Miami radio. She also previously served as the host of “Thursday Night Live” and “Fantasy Football Today” on CBSSports.com. Taylor got her start in radio at Barry University though, hosting her own radio show “The Noise” on the University station while earning her degree.

Last year, Taylor established a scholarship for Barry students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication disciplines in order to support the next generation of journalists and broadcasters. She noted at the time that a personal goal of hers is to foster diversity in the industry, adding that Barry helped her achieve her dreams. Joy Taylor recently established the Joy Taylor Foundation.

Ms. Taylor will address our graduates as Commencement Speaker and will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Joy Taylor

President, Sunshine Gas Distributors, Inc. Maximo “Max” Alvarez

A self-made success story, Max Alvarez emigrated to the United States from Cuba alone at the age of 13 as part of Operation “Pedro Pan.” Today, he is the owner and founder of Sunshine Gas Distributors, one of the largest gasoline distributors in the state of Florida. In honor of his humble beginnings, Alvarez makes it a point to support the community and his industry by way of philanthropy and advocacy.

He has served in a variety of capacities with the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association, Hope for Vision, the Transplant Foundation, The First Tee, the Miami Children’s Hospital and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Additionally, he founded the Centro Hispano Catolico, a day care center for children in need and serves as a trustee of the Pedro Pan Group and Florida State University. He previously received an Honorary Doctor of Law from Belmont Abbey College.

Most recently, Alvarez committed $2 million to the Barry University Institute for Immigration Studies, an academic center dedicated to the study and understanding of the multicultural South Florida immigrant experience. Among other things, this gift establishes the Monsignor Bryan Walsh Directorship at the Institute.

Mr. Alvarez will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Maximo “Max” Alvarez

President, Miami Center for Racial Justice Dr. Marvin Dunn

A former naval officer, a renowned historian, an expert on race and ethnic issues and a community advocate, Dr. Marvin Dunn has dedicated his career to preserving and sharing Florida’s Black history. He taught in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University for more than three decades, retiring as Chairperson of that Department. He authored Black Miami in the Twentieth Century and A History of Florida: Through Black Eyes.  He also co-authored The Miami Riot of 1980: Crossing the Bounds and is the producer and director of three documentary films. Additionally, he possesses an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts documenting the history of Blacks in Florida and the violent Rosewood Massacre in Levy County in 1923.

Beyond his passion for the preservation of history, Dr. Dunn’s service includes the founding of Roots in the City, an urban gardening program, and the founding of the Dr. Marvin Dunn Academy for Community Education, a public high school for at-risk students.

In 2021, Dr. Dunn founded the Miami Center for Racial Justice along with a group of community advocates for racial justice and peace. The Center focuses on preserving and telling the stories of racial violence in Florida and working toward racial reconciliation and healing.

Dr. Dunn will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Dr. Marvin Dunn

Americans for Immigrant Justice Co-Founder and Executive Director Cheryl Little, Esq.

Cheryl Little, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice), is a pioneer and leading expert on immigration law. A steadfast human rights advocate, her work in immigration dates back to the mid-1980’s when she graduated from law school and began working at the Haitian Refugee Center.

Little co-founded AI Justice, an organization that champions rights of immigrants including unaccompanied children and survivors of trafficking, in 1996 and has served as Executive Director since its inception.

She has received numerous honors and awards for her work and has authored several publications on the topic of immigration.

Ms. Little will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Cheryl Little, Esq.

Prioress, The Adrian Dominican Sisters Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, JD

The Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sister Patricia Siemen is a passionate voice for the rights of all creation. She is the founder and former executive director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law, an initiative advancing laws and policies designed to protect the systems, species and entities that sustain life on Earth and advocating for the recognition that all creatures and natural systems have their own rights to “exist and flourish.”

A civil attorney, Sister Pat’s early ministries included being a community organizer in rural Tennessee, where she assisted disenfranchised African Americans, and working in a parish ministry with the Latino community.

She has also been a legal services attorney for migrant workers in south Florida; a staff attorney for the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice; and director of the Earth Ethics Institute at Miami-Dade College.

Sister Pat will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, which will be awarded in absentia.

Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, JD

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