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Media Advisory/Press Release

Worcester resident Richard (Rif) Freedman, receives honorary doctorate from MSPP for commitment to children, families and the school

June 12, 2012–Boston (West Roxbury), MA–Worcester resident, Richard (Rif) Freedman, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston.

According to Dr. Nicholas Covino, president of MSPP, “Rif is a remarkably humble and knowledgeable man whose devotion to this school has been instrumental in our growth and success in recent years. And, his generosity and advocacy have shaped our mission and commitment to children and families.”

A Worcester business leader, philanthropist and an advocate for children, Freedman grew up in Newton and now lives in Worcester. A graduate of Deerfield Academy, he received his BA at Harvard University in 1954, a MEd from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1992 and an OPM from the Harvard Business School in 1981.

A devoted MSPP trustee for 20 years, Freedman was a major force in designing and driving the innovative business strategy that led to the restructure and expansion of MSPP from 2002 and to MSPP’s current academic and financial strength, according to MSPP officials.

Says Freedman of the award, “I am deeply honored and proud that I have been singled out for this honor, though truthfully, and I really mean this, there are many more qualified than I. MSPP has meant so much to me, and it is so gratifying to see how far the school has come in recent years. I will accept this in the spirit offered and on behalf of all of the trustees who have been such an integral part of the growth and development of the school.”

In 2006, Freedman and his wife Joan and their family decided to give a gift to MSPP that reflected their strong commitment to helping children in need of mental health care. Their philanthropic gesture created, fostered and continues to nurture the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development at MSPP. Today, the Center is a cornerstone of MSPP’s growing focus on educating future child psychologists and other mental health providers dedicated to children. It addition to its educational mission, it also is a direct service agency for Massachusetts families.

Freedman joined Webster Spring Co. in 1958, where he held various positions until 1989, including President. He also served as a Senior Major Gifts Officer at Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1993-98.

In addition to his ongoing service on the MSPP Board of Trustees, he also serves on the boards of Jewish Healthcare, Temple Emanuel in Worcester and The Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary and is on the Development Board of the University of Massachusetts Worcester.

About MSPP—Founded in 1974 as an independent graduate school of psychology, MSPP provides unique training programs for mental health professionals at the doctoral, master's and certificate level, each designed to immerse students in both academic study and real-life clinical experience. Constantly assessing and evolving to meet the needs of the needs of a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society, MSPP currently offers programs to train highly skilled professionals to care for Latinos, veterans, children and adolescents and families in a variety of settings, including the schools, the courts, the community and the workplace, among others.

Updated 6/25/12

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