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Mount to Award Highest Honor to Joan Payden

April 22, 2009 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University will honor Santa Monica resident Joan A. Payden, president and CEO of the global investment management firm Payden & Rygel of Los Angeles, at its May 11 commencement.

The college pays tribute to Payden with the Carondelet Medal, the Mount's highest honor, for her remarkable leadership and philanthropic pursuits as the founder and chief executive officer of Payden & Rygel, and for enhancing the lives of students through her dedication to and initiatives in support of Catholic education.

The commencement, to be held at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, also features speaker Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, the Roman Catholic nun who gained acclaim for penning the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book-turned-movie "Dead Man Walking." Prejean continues her global campaign to abolish the death penalty, and has been a chief supporter of the Catholic Church's vigorous opposition to state executions. Prejean divides her time between campaigning against the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners.

The college also will award a Carondelet Medal to Susan Stark Meyer '78 of Torrance, a 17-year faculty member in the Mount's nursing department.

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