Francis J. Butler, head of the Founders and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, and Murray Martin, chief executive officer of Pitney Bowes, will receive honorary degrees at Sacred Heart University's 45th annual undergraduate ceremony on May 15. The commencement speaker will be John J. Petillo, SHU's recently appointed president.

At the May 14 commencement, Christopher K. McLeod, head of 454 Life Sciences Corp., will speak. McLeod and Judith Persichilli, the president and CEO of Catholic Health East, will receive honorary degrees at that ceremony.

The Sacred Heart Class of 2011 includes 842 undergraduates who will receive associate's and bachelor's degrees. Master's degrees, professional certificates and doctorates will be presented to 644 graduate students.

Petillo, named the university's sixth president in March, will preside over the school's commencement for the first time in May. An SHU trustee in the 1980s, he returned to campus in March 2009 as dean of the John F. Welch College of Business and was named interim president last October. He formerly led both Seton Hall University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Butler has headed FADICA since 1980. He earned bachelor's degrees from St. John's College and the Catholic University of America as well as a master of arts in theology degree from the University of San Francisco and his doctorate in Systematic Theology from Catholic University. He played a founding role in three major church-related national charities with combined giving of over $700 million. Martin is chairman, president and chief executive officer at Stamford-based Pitney Bowes, a $5.4 billion company that provides software, hardware and services that integrate physical and digital communications channels. During his career at Pitney Bowes, he has held a variety of senior management positions, including chief operating officer.

He also is a member of corporate and civic boards, including the John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University.

McLeod is president and chief executive officer of 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, a post that he has held since 2005. Previously, he served as executive vice president of CuraGen from 1999, where he oversaw bioinformatics, strategic business development and collaborative research, including the negotiation of strategic partnerships.

He serves on the boards of Sacred Heart University and the Connecticut Yankee Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Persichilli is the president and CEO of Catholic Health East, a consortium of dozens of health-care centers sponsored by 14 religious congregations, with 54,000 employees. She is a graduate of St. Francis School of Nursing in Trenton, where she was eventually CEO.

In 2006, she was inducted into the New Jersey State Nurses Association Hall of Honor. In September 2008, she was awarded the Richard J. Hughes Humanitarian Award from Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Trenton, N.J.