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Catholic colleges hold commencement ceremonies

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May 18, 2011

ARCHDIOCESE — Catholic colleges in the Cincinnati archdiocese held commencement ceremonies in May, preparing graduates to make their mark on the world with faith, knowledge and a commitment to service.

 

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr takes part in the academic procession at Chatfield College May 14. (CT/E.L. HUBBARD)

The University of Dayton conferred about 400 graduate degrees and 180 law degrees during separate ceremonies May 7 at the UD Arena. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton delivered the commencement address for the law school.

 

On May 8, about 1,300 students received undergraduate degrees during commencement at the UD Arena. Popular undergraduate majors at UD this year were communication, biology, accounting, finance, marketing and chemical engineering. The university bestowed an honorary degree on Melkite Catholic Church Archbishop Elias Chacour of the Archeparchy of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and Galilee. Archbishop Chacour created the first Arab university in Israel.

 

Beginning this year, all UD graduates will also receive a medal bearing the image of Marianist founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and the university seal along with their diplomas. The medal commemorates the 250th anniversary of his birth. The Marianist order founded UD.

 

The College of Mount St. Joseph held commencement exercises for 566 students May 7 at the Jean Patrice Harrington, SC, Student Center. A ceremony for adult and graduate students was held in the morning, while traditional students were recognized that afternoon.

 

Sister of Charity Barbara Hagedorn, president of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, spoke at the morning ceremony. She was honored for her work during her presidency and for her dedication to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

 

Leonard Little Finger, a Lakota leader and educator, addressed the traditional students. He was honored for his dedication to the preservation of the Lakota culture and language and for his lifelong dedication to the respect and dignity of all people.

 

Both speakers were awarded honorary doctor of humane letters degrees.

 

The 2011 Mount St. Joseph Distinguished Students were Debbie Flerlage (adult undergraduate student) and Andrea Sullivan (graduate student), both nursing majors, and Adam Alford (traditional student), a biology major. The MSJ Distinguished Student Awards are presented to graduates who have demonstrated superior academic performance and participation in community service reflecting the mission of the college.

 

The commencement weekend began May 6 with a baccalaureate Mass in the Mater Dei Chapel for all the graduates and their families.

 

Chatfield College awarded associate degrees to 42 students during a ceremony May 14 in the Sacred Heart Chapel on Chatfield’s main campus in St. Martin. It was Chatfield’s 40th commencement.

 

Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr was the commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary doctorate. This degree is given each year to those whose life and work reflect the ideals of Chatfield College: service, truth and opportunity. During the ceremony, Sam Tally was given the college’s Distinguished Instructor Award.

 

Xavier University conferred diplomas on more than 2,000 students during the school’s 173rd commencement ceremonies May 14 at the university’s Cintas Center. Xavier conferred 988 undergraduate diplomas and 1,272 graduate diplomas. A baccalaureate Mass was celebrated May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.

 

Charles Geschke was the undergraduate commencement speaker and received an honorary degree. The co-founder and chair of Adobe Systems, Inc., he earned a bachelor’s degree in classics and a master’s degree in mathematics from Xavier and taught math at John Carroll University before entering the field of computer science. He also earned earn a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University. He has also served as a longtime member of Xavier’s President’s Advisory Council.

 

John C. Lechleiter, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, received Xavier’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at the undergraduate ceremony. A 1975 Xavier graduate, Lechleiter received master’s and doctorate degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University.

 

Mike Moroski received Xavier’s Magis Award, which recognizes a Xavier alumnus or alumna who has achieved a high degree of excellence and embodies Jesuit morals and ethical values in his or her life. Moroski has established himself as an advocate of the poor in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. He is a teacher at Moeller High School.

 

Xavier’s top graduating senior, Matthew Ackels, 22, of Dallas was honored as the John A. Elet, S.J. Scholar. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in natural sciences and theatre.

 

The graduate commencement speaker was Roger A. Fortin, Xavier’s academic vice president and provost.

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