Leigh Middleton Named Undergraduate Commencement Speaker and 2022 Honorary Degree Recipient

May 11, 2022
Leigh Middleton
Philanthropist Leigh Middleton

Gwynedd Mercy University will present philanthropist Leigh Middleton with an Honorary Degree at the University's Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14. Middleton wil also serve as the University's Undergraduate Commencement speaker.

Middleton was nominated by Project HOME for her philanthropic work focused on ending homlessness in the Philadelphia region, and her continued support in eduction, workforce development, and medical research. She has served on Project HOME's Board of Trustees since 2007, and also serves as co-chair of the Development Committee and sits on the Board's Executive Committee. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Gwynedd Mercy University. 

"We are so pleased to present Leigh Middleton with an Honorary Degree," said Deanne H. D'Emilio, JD, President of Gwynedd Mercy University. "Her philanthropic endeavors within the greater Philadelphia region and her genuine care and desire for helping people truly embody the values of the Sisters of Mercy, and we are delighted to honor Leigh for her many contributions in this region and to welcome her as our 2022 Commencement Speaker."

Together with her husband John, Middleton made one of the largest single private gifts to Project HOME to end and prevent chronic street homelessness in 2014. Through this transformational investment from Leigh and John Middleton, and further support the Maguire Family, Janet and John Haas, the Honickman Family, the Raynier Institute and Foundation, Betty Morgan, Jon Bon Jovi and other like-minded partners, MPOWER was born - a supercharged engine to not only sustain Project HOME's work, but to strengthen it. Since then, MPOWER has unlocked resources to scale solutions and has significantly accelerated progress to end and prevent chronic homelessness in Philadelphia.

"Leigh Middleton is an incredible human being, and her generosity and commitment to our mission has helped us greatly in our quest to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for good," said Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder of Project HOME. "We are thrilled that she is being honored and has the chance to share inspiring words that we know will compel the next generation to be a part of the change they want to see in the world."

In addition to her work with Project HOME, Middleton has served a number of organizations, including the Women's Committee for the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Philadelphia Antique Show, and the Academy of Music.

She also has been recognized for her civic leadership with several honors including the Philadelphia Award in 2013, The Golden Heart Award in 2014, and The Crystal Award in 2018.