The Conway School’s 43rd graduating class will receive a Master of Science in Ecological Design as Dean Cycon delivers the keynote address.Dean Cycon

Dean Cycon, social activist, entrepreneur, and founder of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, will deliver the keynote address at Conway’s forty-third graduation ceremony in June. Mr. Cycon will be presented with an honorary doctorate degree.

Dean Cycon founded Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company in 1993 “to prove that business could (must!) be a vehicle for positive social change by engaging in the lives of grower communities through progressive activism, development and economic relations.”

Dean’s Beans works with thousands of farmers in a dozen countries. “Our business model requires us to do work in the country as part of the price of doing business,” says Dean. “We do direct activism in the coffee communities. … We are committed to small, meaningful projects that the community actually wants, and that are sustainable over time without our continued involvement.” That direct activism results in programs like a revolving loan fund in Ethiopia that helps farmers build wells in their communities, the reforestation of severely degraded land in central Peru, and technical assistance to farmers on best practices, composting, farmer to farmer exchanges, funding, and international organic certification.

In 2013, Dean received the Oslo Business for Peace Award, known as the “Nobel prize of business.”

On Saturday, June 27, the seventeen members of the class of 2015 will present each other with a Master of Science diploma from Conway’s intensive, ten-month graduate program in sustainable landscape planning and design, which prepares students to be leaders in the fields of ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design.

For forty-three years, the Conway School has been at the creative nexus of design, land use and environmental protection. The uniquely integrated curriculum is structured around planning and design projects which the school provides for individuals, communities, and non-profit organizations in western Massachusetts, New England, across the nation, and abroad. Students complete real projects for real clients, focusing on timely topics of ecological design, including food security, community resilience, and reducing human impact on natural resources through conscientious design. Graduates play significant professional roles in various aspects of landscape planning and design.

The graduation ceremony will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the school’s main campus at 332 South Deerfield Road, Conway, MA. An open house showcasing student work begins at 12:30 pm. The public is invited, but seating and parking are very limited. Please RSVP online at: